July [26] 2008



When the rain shoots down like ice

I’m six years old again


from the open garage.

I study brown puddles

and the red worms of the driveway

wishing my shelved wooden sled

were a small boat in large waters.

Across the concrete floor

I drag my would-be skiff

until all front runners are pushed out

beneath the quenching storm

and only the very stern

remains safe under roof.

Rain hits down harder now,

it’s river cold and loud on wood

like BBs on the aluminum siding.

I take my seat into the storm, and

anxiously begin the ritual snapping

of my removable hood

and all seventeen buckles

of my slippery yellow poncho–

then I straddle the wooden sled slats,

rubber galosh to each rudder;

It’s cool outside and the shrill wind

on my cheeks

thrills my spine like a wild river lion.

In harmony with the rain

I seize upon a chorus

of crusty old pirates

chanting like galley slaves

within my hooded ears.

Transfixed by this perfect music

I wait solemnly up on deck

as the garage,

and all my bearings,

start to flood into the cold drink.

Still, my outward gaze

remains immovable,

steady as a seasoned captain,

and eager

as his ranting, toothless, crew

to be swiftly lifted like a paper kite

in a winter’s gale…

up, out and away!



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