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December 10, 2023

Yesterday, I watered my garden
and washed my laundry,
and, doing so, brought on the rain.

A less solipsistic interpretation
might ascribe our unusual, inclement weather
to the hurricanes
now hitting Mexico from both sides,
Pacific and Gulf coasts,
Oaxaca and Veracruz,
as the man painting my neighbor's house
was inclined to do
when I complained about the overcast skies.

But I,
too alone,
and a New Englander at heart,
yet abide by the dictum,
"I washed my car, so it had to rain."

The night before last,
I felt a few drops
riding my bicycle home
not long after dark
from the art walk at the Fabrica la Aurora.

Riding up Hildalgo,
crossing Mesones,
hugging the sidewalk
to go around a car,
which had stopped in the intersection
to let some pedestrians pass,
one tiny splash wet my forehead.

I thought
someone was watering their rooftop garden,
until, moments later,
traversing the crowd in the Jardín
I felt some others.

I rode down Aldama
and onto Cardo
where, passing under a street light,
I saw what I could not feel,
a thousand miniscule droplets raining down,
translucent like a veil.

the rain was only slightly more substantial,
a tangible shower,
but of a kind I first encountered
the year I lived in Seattle,
that land of many types of rains,
for which we did not bother to don our raincoats,
a rain which does not get you wet,
that doesn't even fall from the clouds,
but rather condenses straight out of the atmosphere
at day's end,
when the cooling air cannot hold suspended
all the moisture it contains.

it began as the afternoon was ending,
when I saw,
looking out into the far end of my patio garden,
a wetness, darkening the dusty-rose concrete,
quick to assume agency,
I thought that I had left the spigot slightly open,
dripping from my morning watering of the plants.

I felt the rain even before noticing
that the pavement,
including the brick pavers,
was slightly wet everywhere,
except under my hanging clothes.
(I should have washed them earlier in the day,
but that's another story.)

After quickly checking
to see that the spigot was indeed closed,
in a flash I had the laundry,
damp, but not terribly so,
off the line and on my shoulder,
and was hurrying it inside.

the load deposited on my dining room table,
I spread tee shirts and pillow cases,
one by one,
over chair backs and such,
then strung a line across the room
to hang the sheets.

It smelt good,
and parting the sheets,
to come and go from the kitchen,
made me quite oddly feel
as if I were sharing the space
with someone who needed more privacy
than the small floor plan allowed.

This morning
the clouds remain,
parting briefly now and then
to reveal azure blue and the Mexican sun,
which, in fairer moments,
smiles warmly in the morning,
shows its teeth in the afternoon,
and only reveals its colorful spectrum,
a short while,
in its senescence,
sinking behind the mountains.

grown old myself,
time passing much faster than this poem,
metaphors show across my simple life
like a sunset spread out against the western sky,
esoteric revelations
visible only to my twilight eyes.

How many misty veils
are falling even now,
imperceptibly around me?
How I give my tiny efforts
the credit or blame
for events brought on by hurricanes.

the sunset does depend
on an eastward eye,
as the rainbow,
in all its splendor,
requires our properly angled participation.
Even this poem
needed someone to write it down.

As if approving
of these, my magical meditations,
the sun, again,
breaks warmly through the clouds.

The climate
encapsulated and arranged
by this morning's conjuring,
let's see, now,
what worlds can be set in order
by the folding of my laundry.

by Dr. David Fialk, Editor / Publisher / Poet


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