After the Rains

1

Today it rained. Clouds poured water

hard on all our heads

all day.

Tonight, the rains stopped,

but the clouds refused to leave.

Obstinate, they nuzzled their fat bellies

deep down onto the earth

and cloaked the night in heavy mist.

So later, when I walk outside

I open my eyes to see the fog.

I open my mouth to breathe,

taste sweet warm air

pregnant with moisture.

I open my ears to hear

only muted silence,

punctuated by the drip-drop-drip

of reluctant water,

clinging futilely to dormant trees.

My footsteps do not break the silence.

2

I come home and drop my pack

but stop, think, grab the last apple

drop my hat and go back outside.

I try to check the time, but my phone won't work.

I wander and eat my apple.

It makes a loud crunching sound

that breaks the silence

in a satisfying way.

I climb stairs onto a low roof,

where a pool makes a broad mirror.

For a minute, I look out from the ledge.

I take a pebble in hand

and toss it in the water.

The ripples fan out slowly

but reach all the way across the pool

where they rebound

and conflict with each other

to destroy the night's reflection

in their chaos.

The pool becomes still soon.

I throw another pebble,

then an acorn.

Water in the air bids me

wander more, and I follow

the breeze with my footsteps.

3

My spirit of air and water pulls me onward.

Now other footsteps ring softly out

and the fog muffles a few voices.

Soon I reach the circle of serenity

near the library, where the stones

say "peace" in every language

around a dove caught in

mosaic tiles.

The waters nearly bring the dove to life,

but it holds its symbolic station.

A bronze book lies near

the library, to remember those

who lost themselves

in the fog.

Was it really that way? Probably

not. But life in water

and wind warps words, makes

meanings mean less in such

silent peace.

I begin to wander back,

and the slow rain returns.

4

The heavy clouds are full

and since they can't hold more water,

they rain.

But the clouds are also lazy.

Their rain barely pierces the fat

underbelly of their fog,

and warm, gets lost in my

uncovered hair.

Slow rain makes noise and I reach

home, but pause. I don't want

to go back in, to abandon

the fog and rain and night.

I to check the time,

but my phone still won't work.

Time, time. In time,

the fog will depart, but for now,

let it rain.