– Ghazal for drought
The geese glide in low and slow, gray wings tipped, frantic
flutter to ground as the flood plain yawns dry, waiting for rain.
Great blue heron stalks trickle stream, mud thick, small fish
and frogs long ago devoured, but still she stalks, waiting for rain.
Forest fire smoke settles across valley floor, obscures and chokes,
sunlight wavers, air crackles with electric want, waiting for rain.
Oaks dump acorns early, and papery green leaves curl brown,
no golden hues, an attempt to survive, while waiting for rain.
Salmon gather in ocean bay, fat and eager for upstream journey
to spawn, but riverbeds are impassable, rock dry, waiting for rain.
When the first drops fall, the earth sighs and softens and swells
a little, greedy. We wake in early morning tangle, listening to rain.
Ann Farley, poet and caregiver, is happiest outdoors, preferably at the beach. Her poems have appeared in Timberline Review, Third Wednesday, Willawaw Journal, Verseweavers, KOSMOS, and others. Her first chapbook, Tell Her Yes, was published by The Poetry Box in April, 2022. She lives in Beaverton, OR. Visit her website here.