Wednesday, June 4, 2008

On the Fourth Day It Rained (revision)

an edit of a poem from a few months ago, which I don't *think* I've posted here before....

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
Exhausted from entertaining me and showing
Off their sunny homeland.

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,
Wandered out to the balcony and sat
In my pajamas, watching a diffuse light
Reveal the view of palm trees and pastel buildings
Clinging like lichen to the hills
That settle gradually down to the sandy shore.
I watched the rain move in slowly,
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 is like my own, like
Any other – both beautiful and flawed, peopled
With angels and artists, devils and debutantes,
The poor and the powerful, a place just as human
And as precious as anywhere else.

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