The First Rain
Majestic, gray clouds wheel past dark peaks.
Wind rushes in.
The flutter of banana leaves grows tremulous.
Droplets of rain pelt down on age-old canopies.
Cues to a drama about to unfold.
Like wind-up clocks,
ox-drawn carts, schoolboys on bikes,
and barefoot peasants hauling in the harvest
criss-cross the horizon in swift, straight arrows.
The sky opens up.
The rain empties out in heavy sheets.
A gray curtain closes on distant mountains.
At the edge of the fields,
clustered houses turn grimy walls and
faded green shutters to nature’s torrents.
Cloistered still life.
Not even a buffalo left.
Only a diaspora of ducks in the paddy swamps
to alter this total capitulation.
Nowhere to go.
Primordial, resounding rain,
voice of creation
that once coaxed life forms out of energy.
The rain anchors me,
beholden, here and now
to this old, old earth.