The Dry Season

In the season of drought, the sky was black.
It filled and filled with grave cloud that
heaved up from the south, and it hung
and then rose and from within a cold
wind stirred, but it bore no rain.

 

The farmer drew himself up, put his wide hands
on the gate, settled his eyes to the light
then looked north and tightened his lips.
The fields before him were dust and a heat
shimmer danced above the heating land.
Gone, he said. Gone. The grass is gone,
and by that he meant it had died, and it had.

 

A teacher looked out in a distant valley school, where
playing feet made the dry earth boom.
The drought, she said, was a killer, and
the children’s voices rang in the still air –
their friends were leaving: no grass,
no living, no jobs, just the endless dry.
Then the air crashed and a new light broke
on the hills and the air cooled and the wind
began to stir and twist the leaves.
Great drops of water carved in and
spat in the dust and it rose until it was caught
and pushed back to earth; and it
rained as hard as it ever had, and the
children stopped to watch and then they ran
into it and, everywhere, there was sighing

 

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