This is about no rain in particular, just any rain, rain sounding on the roof, any roof, slate or wood, tin or clay or thatch, any rain among any trees, rain in soft, soundless accumulation, gathering rather than falling on the fir of juniper and cedar, on a lace-community of cobwebs, rain clicking off the rigid leaves of oaks or magnolias, any kind of rain, cold and smelling of ice or rising again as steam off hot pavements or stilling dust on country roads in August. This is about rain as rain possessing only the attributes of any rain in general. And this is about night, any night coming in its same immeasurably gradual way, fulfilling expectations in its old manner, creating heavens for lovers and thieves, taking into itself the scarlet of the scarlet sumac, the blue of the blue vervain, no specific night, not a night of birth or death, not the night forever beyond the frightening side of the moon, not the night always meeting itself at the bottom of the sea, any sea, warm and tropical or starless and stormy, night meeting night beneath Arctic ice. This attends to all nights but no night. And this is about wind by itself, not winter wind in particular lifting the lightest snow off the mountaintop into the thinnest air, not wind through city streets, pushing people sideways, rolling ash cans banging down the block, not a prairie wind holding hawks suspended mid-sky, not wind as straining sails or as curtains on a spring evening, casually in and back over the bed, not wind as brother or wind as bully, not a lowing wind, not a high howling wind. This is about wind solely as pure wind in itself, without moment, without witness. Therefore this night tonight-- a midnight of late autumn winds shaking the poplars and aspens by the fence, slamming doors, rattling the porch swing, whipping thundering black rains in gusts across the hillsides, in batteries against the windows as we lie together listening in the dark, our own particular fingers touching--can never be a subject of this specific conversation
From Generations by Pattian Rogers, published by Penguin. Copyright © 2004 by Pattian Rogers. Reprinted by permission of Penguin. All rights reserved.
Born in 1940, Pattiann Rogers is the author of numerous collections of poetry.
Date Published: 2004-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/general