Sudden Rain by Laura Rodley

Franklin County’s Laura Rodley, Pushcart Prize winner, quintuple Pushcart Prize and Best of Net nominee. Former co-curator Collected Poets Series, Rodley teaches As You Write It class, published As You Write It, A Franklin County Anthologies. Recent books Turn Left at Normal / Big Table Publishing and Prolific Press’s Counter Point.

Sudden Rain

There is a lake in the middle of our lawn
that fills with rains such as these,
a yawn that raindrops widen, as
suddenly as a fish grasping for bait;
no gills on this lake, but the grass
and the lawn and the dirt itself
that allows the lake to breathe for as
long as the minions of drops fill its banks,
the gills of the lawn allow the lake
to recede into the recesses of its dry dirt,
the dirt below that waited for this rain,
then, saturated, holds up the bowl of the lake,
filled, and as suddenly as the rain stops,
drips trickling off the roof, the lake
recedes, gills of lawn fluke wide, let
the air pass out of the water and then the water
pass out of the lawn until all that’s left
is dry land, scarcely any mud, no frogs,
no fish, nothing to say that here stood
a sometimes lake, just a recessed indent,
a cup empty, the dry earth satisfied,
no need of intervention or clean up. For now,
the lake is full, raindrops contracting its surface,
overlapping circles, a minuet reflecting
the tall maples across the street: witnesses,
just like me, of all the numbers of those
dead from Covid, mask wearing, those that do
and those that won’t, an unwilling witness.