Back to Issue Twenty-Nine.

Rain Study



All night, the channeling of water
in the gutters

keeps tracing
the outline of the house.



My son’s face pressed
to one side of the glass,
the storm to the other.
He’s too young

to understand
why the trees
swing around in nightmare
mechanical motion—

but the rain
filling the air before him
must have something
to do with it. Each

flash of lightning
brings the present
more sharply
into the present. He turns back

to our space inside it.



It was raining in the capital,
and the nation’s new delight—
the war—was suddenly on.

A thick fuzz of rain
stood tall on its pintips

in every street. The awnings
hung their empty rooms

like diving bells
inside that falling.



Again, my daughter is talking

in her sleep—her language
just water
cycling through a fountain.

And my son, who can’t yet speak—
endless rain.



Then my wife and I
were alone in the house

for the first time in months—
a shocking quiet

further dampened by the gray
of rain. When the wind gusted,

a blown drop
sometimes landed in a square

of the bedroom’s
window screen. Later

the scattered
placement of water there

offered a sort of record
of the afternoon.



On the undersurface
of a raindrop
as it falls:

a fisheyed reflection
of the ground
rising at tremendous speed.

And that’s it—

Wayne Miller is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Post- (Milkweed, 2016), which won the UNT Rilke Prize and the Colorado Book Award, and his fifth collection, We the Jury, is forthcoming in 2021. His translation of Moikom Zeqo’s Zodiac (Zephyr, 2015) was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Award in Translation. He teaches at the University of Colorado Denver and edits Copper Nickel.


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