Landscape, with Seemingly Unending Rain

This entry is part 79 of 93 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2011

I am thinking of questions to ask the poet
who writes lately of horoscopes and of death,
at least two things that have in common

the letter e, which might stand for the
eternal dilemma at their core: how much we
want to know what’s coming for us in a future

which no one can really see. It’s not quite the same
as the meteorologist forecasting days of rain,
tracking by radar the course of a hurricane

battering its way up the coast and across
the mountains, before dumping twelve to eighteen
inches of rain on the ground. Days and days later,

as the sky clears and the woods slowly begin
to dry, the families who fled low-lying regions
return to their homes after the evacuation

orders are lifted. We know some of them
will return to find everything as they
left it, except perhaps they might have

to throw all the food gone bad in the fridge
when the power went out. But at least some
of them will stop short in a muddy driveway

that once looked familiar, stare at a now empty
house lot strewn with fallen limbs and debris.
The next-door neighbor who decided to stay

through the worst of it, might come and
tell them what happened: how the waters rose
too quickly, how before nightfall, the river

currents pushed the house like a paper
boat under a bridge and out of sight.
And they will hug each other tearfully,

give thanks for their lives even while
bemoaning their losses, perhaps sinking
on their haunches or shaking their heads

in disbelief— While somewhere higher up
or inland, the rain will continue in its
own time, to make its way to the ground.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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