Saturday, April 19, 2008

On the Fourth Day It Rained

I came up with the title of this one while I was in San Diego, but didn't write it till a month or so later. Got some good suggestions on the first draft, made some edits, and read this at Larry's a month or so ago.

On the Fourth Day It Rained

I woke too early that Sunday in San Diego
Still not accustomed to West Coast time –
My body believing it was past ten
When my California friends thought they were sleeping in.

I made coffee in the high white kitchen,
Tore off an oval of last night’s bread and spooned
It with jam because I could not find a knife.

It was cloudy as I opened the sliding door
And allowed the cat to follow me onto the balcony –
A view of palm trees and pastel buildings
Clinging like lichen to the hills
That settle gradually down to the sandy shore.
We watched the rain move in, she and I,
Great banks of clouds drifting like ruffled skirts
From the ocean a few miles away.

I sipped my coffee, too hot, too strong,
And welcomed the chill that came with the misty rain.
Back home, in Ohio, this time of year
Is miserable. I have not grown used

To the sunny days, the temperance,
Wearing thin sweaters, pretty things
Too flimsy for February, the failure of weather to reflect
Reality – that this city with its beaches and its palm trees and
Its cleanliness and order and beautiful people
Is no better and no happier than where I came from.

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