If I could only open the skies and swim in rain.
The ground softens, loosens stopped sorrows, grows lush in rain.
January gray. A reliable misery.
I watch this stiff scene listening for release of rain.
My empty hands weave and unweave scenes, loosen and stitch
solutions that appear and dissolve in angry rain.
Storms will come. Water will rise and run. Creek banks will cave
in sweeping currents. Mountains become rubble with rain.
The birds are congregating. They call plaintively to
sky and air. Restless wings. Unanswered songs fall like rain.
Our barricaded hearts watch the broken scenery
while the bone-dry earth and shriveled leaves drink the rain.
The peony bushes can’t stand up under the weight
of their own blossoms. The petals fall and pool like rain.
Cicadas leave skeletons to cling on waving branches.
They climb higher, sing for love, silenced only by rain.
Beyond the black windows, the wands of fireflies swim.
I watch them waltzing in the bushes unquenched by rain.
The day we wed: food gorgeous on tables, blooms bursting.
Each of us was soaked, baptized by thunder and warm rain.
Within, the house is dry, scents drift through screens. We sleep on
crisp sheets. Floating visions. Open windows let in rain.
Penelope, in the dark, you drift off in his arms,
while winter barren branches flower in hot rain.
Penelope Hyde Levine lives in New York state’s Hudson Valley. Over the years she has been a featured reader in a variety of venues throughout the Hudson Valley. She is particularly interested in finding ways to perform her writing that deepen and expand the experience beyond the page. She curated three performances in Cocoon Theatre’s Soirée in the Parlor. There, she supported fellow poets in the visual and musical performance of their work, while setting her own poems to music, dance, and theater. Penelope taught special education for thirty-one years. She has two grown children and lives with her husband and her cat.