Charl Cilliers

Rookie (25 January 1941 / Cape Town, South Africa)

Old Men In The Rain


Our childhood years are threadbare coats
that shiver on our stooping backs:
crowding alone in a storm of words
we try to catch the songs of birds.

We smile at children playing in the rain,
hands pausing and plunging to catch, trembling,
the raindrops that bewitch and trance
their staring and singing with a lucky chance.

Heavy with age and hope, more certain now
in that cautious passion of our remembering,
we stutter our longing for childhood again,
for almost forgotten songs in the trancing rain.

Our whispering hands catch the wrong phrase
with emphasis: blossoming raindrops scatter
their after-rain fragrance in the sun’s haze:
we softly tell ourselves it doesn’t matter.

Submitted: Friday, July 17, 2009

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