Rain On A Summer Day Poem by Philip Doolittle

Rain On A Summer Day

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One summer day I went for a swim.
The sunlight glistened off the lake.
My mind told me, “For goodness sake,
Go ahead and just jump in! ”
It seemed for me the thing to do;
The sun so bright, the water blue,
The trees that by the lake’s edge grew
They seemed to beckon and to call.
So, without another thought at all,
I jumped in, then began to fall,
And fell into the lake.
The water was extremely cool
Inside that lovely blue-green pool;
And I was also very full
Of joy, and having so much fun,
That I did not see that the sun
Had hidden behind a screen of black.
The storm clouds held the sunlight back.
And I, oblivious to the fact,
Continued with my swim.
The mass of black clouds grew and grew;
And they kept on ‘til I was through
Of swimming in that mirror of blue.
Did I say blue? Now it was gray.
I realized that the storm was near
And I had best be on my way.
But then I realized, with certain fear,
That I would not get home in time
To beat the storm that blocked the sun.
So I began to run.
The thunderclouds began to grow,
And soon strong winds started to blow,
As I leaped over row and row
Of bushes. Lightning lit the sky.
Then I REALLY began to fly.
It seemed that I was given wings
Like those of birds and flying things.
At least I was going pretty fast.
I ran so hard; I gave my best.
Yet drops of rain began to fall
Before I’d gotten far at all.
The drops turned into balls of rain.
I ran as if I was insane.
The thunder crashed all around
As sheets of rain poured on the ground.
The storm and thunder had the sound
Of stampeding elephants. And still
The rain fell as I passed the mill.
I mile or two left to go.
Would I make it? I did not know.
By that time I was soaking wet.
But rain still fell like a thick net,
A curtain, a veil, a sheet, a wall
Of water that continued to fall.
But do not think that that was all.
The darkness grew worse; and I
Just felt like I wanted to cry.
But I continued to fly;
And out of the corner of my eye
I saw an oak branch fall.
It seemed as if the rain had fallen
For forty days and forty nights.
And, since the clouds had blocked the lights,
In darkness I continued running.
Then I heard the sound of trees crashing,
While the lightning kept flashing.
A new fear sprang up in me,
And faster I began to flee
From the storm which round we raged
With a force incredible.
The wind, also, whipped through the trees,
Sounding like a million bees.
The cold rain drenched me thoroughly,
But finally I got home safely.
And, once dried, I got in bed,
And woke up with a pain in my head,
A bad cold, a runny nose,
And water dripping from my clothes.
But, in the end I learned something:
I learned that day that it’s insane
To run five miles in the rain.

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