In the Promise of Rain


Drag yourself to the pitch and peel of shadows undressing, slips kicked off into valley, unveiling light, moving under wingspan of hawks circling in appetite.

In the twisted joints of junipers, the ball and socket of land and sky,
you spoke upward, bristling in heat spitting chaw at your feet,
whistling some tune about bandits and cowpoke,
big rock candy mountains. Yipping coyotes sang
in the chorus of the kill, the whiff of the strike.
You woke to rain and howl, water tanks
creeping high, licking rims of tin,
no thought of drought that day.

That’s the smell of money, you said.
Honey colored grass, weeping into
the crook of rocks, moving cattle to
pasture, hearing jaws click to the grind
of feed, along with the drunken earth,
glug, glug, glug,
like a ranch hand on payday
softly sighing in the quench.

You were always best when dust settled
and the air pasted with promise, clouded
memories of a throat thick with
thirst, drowning in a past
with weather worn pages
and amber bottles.

See? you said, head lifted to sky,
and I saw, with drops upon my
face, through your paper eyes.

Rain never felt the same after
that, not even the
promises as they
they dripped



16 thoughts on “In the Promise of Rain

  1. Debbie

    I love the shape of this one, DD. And, as always, your beautiful phrasing. I don’t want to move where it rains every day, but I’m not sure desert life is for me either. ‘Tis a puzzlement!

    1. Desert Dweller

      Thanks, Debbie. It’s funny how you perceive rain depending upon where you live. Infrequency makes it gold; frequency makes it depressing. Somewhere there’s a good balance! 😉

  2. thefeatheredsleep

    OH yes! Licking rims of tin! and the ball and socket of land and sky! Genius.
    You shape things like a baker who confident of her art, can wield finer and more daring pieces than he who toils with eyes closed. You my sister, very much have your eyes open so much so you take in the world and reproduce it through your art.

  3. Don Royster

    I had to smile that I came upon this one after a day of so much rain. It was such a contrast but it made me smile. Sometimes I miss things, then something calls me to see. Thanks for that. One line I really liked: “You were always best when dust settled and the air pasted with promise”. That sure sounds like me. This one reminded me of a William Trevor story I especially love, “After Rain”.

    1. Desert Dweller

      Rain is a complicated relationship, isn’t it? Beloved when thirsty, hated upon drowning, and taken for granted consistently.

      So happy to hear Hurricane Matthew passed with not too much damage to your neck of the woods in FL. Can’t say the same for Haiti, unfortunately.

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