Nine Inches Down of Rain

I could barely stand to see the rhododendrons today.

We are nine inches short of rain in a drought this year,

and the drought follows the worst frost in decades.

The earth missed spring this year,

going right from winter

to a sickened summer that is

brown like fall in places,

bare like winter in places

and hot like the dog days in June.

Some of the world is green,

but some is brown and dying,

like the grass.

Today I took down the empty nest

that cats got to,

taking first one birdchild

and then the other three.

Not eating them,

just killing.

I watched the parent bird start the nest,

and did not halt her hard work,

thinking she’d be safe that high.

I wish I had.

I missed my own spring

(people have them, too).

I’d thought to hit the ground running

when school was done.

But I got sick on the night the windstorm came.

(There has been wind, too.)

And if I am still sick or having some drought of my own,

I hardly know anymore.

The land and me we are both missing something.

Today I turned the hose on

stuck the nozzle on the stair

and by accident walked into the spray

which hit my neck.

Cold and wet! Good god.

It’s been forever since the world outside

gave me that sensation.

And I was reminded then

how it comes again, the good rain.

It always does.

In times of drought in earth or mind

all you can do is wait.

But plants and people

can both flower again when the time and the weather is right.

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