The Dry Spell
Waking early with the warming house my grandmother knew what to do taking care not to wake Da Da she cooked up a storm in darkness adding silent spices and hot sauce to stay cool. She ate later, alone after the children had been gathered and made to eat her red eggs. Da Da rose late, long after the roosters had crowed his name, clearing an ashy throat pulling on long wooly underwear to make him sweat even more. The fields have gone long enough without water he liked to say, so can I and when he returned pounds heavier from those thirsty fields he was even cooler losing each soaked woolen skin to the floor, dropping naked rain in his wife’s earthen arms.
From The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, edited by Nikky Finney. Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Young. Reprinted with permission of the University of Georgia Press.