by Marge Piercy
Long drought feels like a disease,
a punishment as they used to judge
lepers to deserve, as they still
sometimes blame victims of AIDS:
we wonder why we are no longer
blessed with rain, why the soil
cracks into open sores, the trees
turn red far too soon and drop
their crisp leaves, why flowers
no longer bloom and even weeds
droop and loll like the tongues
of dying deer. We watch
the green waves of radar cross
the screen on the mainland.
This is hardly the desert: walk
a mile and watch the waves
tumble in and recede whooshing
rattling pebbles. All that water
and none for us. How long,
how long will we be cursed?
We dream of the rustle of rain
in the oaks whenever wind
stirs their browning leaves.
All our dreams are wet ones.
Copyright © 2008 by Marge Piercy.