Five days of steady rain. A hurricane approaches the city. The streets are flooding but the wildlife is thriving. Every person wears a raincoat or carries an umbrella. Indoors is cozy. Movie theaters are crowded in the early afternoon. We who live alone are more isolated; those who live together are more aggravated. The heavens are having a fine time belting it out.

            A fly is swept from a windowpane in early August but men's machines are almost oblivious to the storm. Except the wires in Mr. Glyckman's Volvo are wet. People's dreams begin to take place in the water. When they awake their thoughts are floating in the puddle of night.

            Raindrops slap the leaves and splash the ground. Travel is not advised, wherever you are it seems like home. Next month dirt on the shingles of the house will remind the painter of the great rain. Even the rain no longer makes an impression on the earth, only a ripple in the rain. If there are mountains or the sea they seem more like brother and sister than father and mother these days. Summer feels like winter.

            Children are less visible and mothers are women who were once girls. Nightclubs are full and the listeners listen more seriously. Music continues but the rain muse has her say. Lovers are less joyous and more happy. The full moon's influence is muted by clouds, the blood between people is thicker. The Himalayas come to the Rockies and the Rockies reach for the Alps. The imagination comes to the market.

            The roads leading down to the river are empty and wet and the bright painted houses along them are quiet. A dog and a cat under a porch patient and unperturbed. A love-gnarled man with a brown beard and walking stick walks in the middle of the street. If a curtain moves, a woman wonders how many days he's been out in the rain like a child. But only the water winding back to the sea, a mad naked saint at the Last Judgement, welcomes him home.

Copyright 1985 & 2007 by Robert Ronnow.