Caroline Misner

Pray For Rain - Poem by Caroline Misner

It shouldn’t have gone on like this—
the protracted days of dust
that rises like steam from the roads,
the pink-brown mist of grains
that cling to skin and hair
and clog the back of the throat.

I can taste its cruelness between
my teeth, crystals cutting like blades.
All we can do now is pray for rain.

Even the clouds mock me, bringing
promises they don’t intend to keep,
a subtle coyness locked in each shadowed crease,
hoarding the moisture we desperately need
in rough basins the wind has filled
with sand that powdered the leaves
in their infancy.

An oak tree spreads the rough entrails
of its roots across the ground.
They pull away as though in pain.
The ground is cracked; plates
of dried mud curl up like waves, the skin
of the earth suffering.
All we can do now is pray for rain.

At night the sky peels back its hood,
exposing scarlet specks, embers
in the soot, chastising the long
bony sickle of the moon that looks
as though it may unhook itself
and fall in a plume of grit.

In the morning the garbage men
will come and collect our obsolescence
from the curb, clattering the cymbals
of these clogged suburbs in the fuzzy dawn
while we reassemble the parched
archways of our solutions
and pray for rain.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 3, 2010

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