When The Rain Stops
I’d tear the ceiling from the sky
to grow taller; dove-tail,
pigeon-tail and rip its bonnet
smaller. In spring the good earth
rumbles, but I a greater fuel—
I want more! A pepper sky
shot up the fields with blue,
the rounding ache of sleep
and the day hot on its hands;
shepherds hop and wailing
upon the fat hill’s side,
the lonesome moan of ewes
and the sob of lambs—
I’d eat this whole world up:
and rush it all together;
make my each ambition full
of sun and dirt and heather.
where are you
and tum fat, the sum
of grain? did the rain come
slapping at your itchy head
in jealous drops and scare you
once again? tell me, as you wiggle
by the piggles snorting in the barn,
tell me, little yarn and button-eyes:
did the crows come and pick at you
like mutton, scratch your fat bum,
stomp you with twitchy claws
and hollow out your brain?
and when they’d finished
chomping it, were you
just the same?
girl, go slowly in the yellow evening:
old man thunder’s got a grumble on
downtown and the hot drops of rain
are ready falling with a whip-smack,
a whistle horn of storms singing low.
old man trouble’s gonna blunder on
despite your twirling skirts; despite
your pretty hands the flowing spits
of wind will wander on, that steady
summer song will blurt a sharp note
and bring the showers down again.
but you, I hear you hear the growl
and match it, sing the crackle-hum
and dance the water down as well
as any purple sky, and maybe you
could catch it sleeping. get it loud
and stalk the streets, girl, shake it
out of hiding; let your totems drop
where the worry stops and gyrate,
spin, clap, slap your shins and sing
for sun to come and melt the haze.
ahead is unashamed; behind is just
an empty brolly tottering in the rain.
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