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Rainy Season


Vasilyev (After the Rain, Country Road)

Rainy Season

Five more days of rain–the trees are bare,
and the afternoon is a marshland of sky;
the clouds hang low and the rain
falls over the steps of a hill without eyes.

The wind, used to being the master,
is overburdened and bored,
it lumbers over the land and wheezes,
choked by the weight of the downpour.

The waterlogged earth swells and gasps,
drowning in a slumber of mud,
while the grass, milky green, swims,
and the brown river threatens to flood.

The house, its timbers creaking like a ship,
seems to be adrift between two fields,
phantomlike it is there suddenly,
like a childhood memory abruptly revealed.

And you’re there too; you nap despite the drip,
drip, drip from the ceiling, despite the cold floors,
despite the misted windows, the icy air,
and the wind that blows wet under the door.

You sleep, hot under heavy blankets,
and dream of summer, of a night in June
when you stand on the lawn and gaze up,
between trees, at the crescent light of a moon.

So tell me, where are you now,
which of the two scenes do you believe–
the rainy November afternoon, or the moment
you walk from the house in short-sleeves?


This poem is included in a book of lyrics called ‘What Have I Done, If I Haven’t Loved.’

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