I learned about rain, or its absence, at an early age. That happens when you grow up in a rural area. So much ... in fact, everything ... depends on rain, whether you have it or you don't, whether too little or too much.
That early experience shaped me, no doubt about it. It shaped my writing, too, when I finally took that up. It created the shape of my first collection of poems, published in 2003.
This particular poem requires little explanation, I believe. Except ... except that, while it is written as something which happened one evening, it is the sum of many evenings ... spent on the front porch, "watching the stars, counting the days since last rain."
It embodies my reaction to the ending of a long drought.
It could be taken further than that, if you wish, to a celebration, not just of the return of rain to the parched soil, but to the ending of one of the many kinds of droughts we endure in our lives.
WHEN, AT LAST, IT RAINS
I sense its talking to me in the depths
of my sleep, hear its melody settling
softly on my ear like a lover's whisper,
see it, with my mind's eye, falling
into a steady rhythm, slipping slowly
down the slope of the tattered roof
on the porch where I sat last week
watching the stars, counting the days
since last rain; then with a shout,
a slam of the screened back door, I'm
standing in the crusted yard, greeting
the rain with my arms outstretched,
dancing wildly with it, receiving its
healing kisses on my upturned face.
(published in my first collection, Chance of Rain, issued by Finishing Line Press, 2003; included in Common Threads, issued by Ohio Poetry Association, Spring-Summer issue, 2006)
Today's word: healing