The Uses of Rain.
My wife stands in the rain, filling a gallon
Milk jug with rainwater from the downspout.
For her plants. The lipstick plant. The fiddle-leafed fig.
The bromeliad that rises through the pink fountain
Of itself. Wet, the soil in the pots looks like coffee grounds.
She grew up with red clay. It pulled at your feet
After rain, but in a month of sun it covered
Your shoes with brick dust. The azaleas
Held the hems of their flowers a foot or two
Above the ground so they would not get stained.
She stamps her feet on the mat. Her sweatshirt
Is not much heavier from the rain but the same gray.
The ducks will drink where the water pooled, their feet
Submerged like black and yellow leaves.
When the rain stops, steam will rise from the grass.
She dries the milk jug with a paper towel.
The bromeliad stabs the air
With fuchsia spears. The branches of the fern
Curl around the turning cylinders of gravity.
The leaves of the fig are broad paddles
Strong enough to support the lizards
That sometimes find their way inside.
It is neither good nor bad luck to catch them.
My wife does not polish the leaves.
Everything is responsible for its own shining.