Monday, October 5, 2015


Sometimes the Way it Rains Reminds Me of You
by Colleen J. McElroy

these days I speak of myself in the past tense
writing about yesterday knowing tomorrow
is no more than mist crawling toward violet mountains
I think of days when this weather meant you
were not so far away   the light changing
so fast I believe I can see you turning a corner
the rain comes in smelling of pine and moss
a kind of brazen intrusion on the careful seeds of spring
I pay more attention to details these days
saving the most trivial until I sort them for trash
or recycle   a luxury I’ve come to know only recently
you have never been too far from my thoughts
despite the newborn birds and their erratic songs
the way they tilt their heads as if dowsing for the sun
the way they repeat their singular songs
over and over as if wishing for a different outcome

Colleen J. McElroy is the author of Sleeping with the Moon (University of Illinois Press, 2007) and the forthcoming Blood Memory(University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016). McElroy is professor emerita at the University of Washington and lives in Seattle, Washington.

Sometimes a poem breaks your heart, just a little.  This is one of them.  I can picture her, standing at the slightly open window, listening to the rain drizzling and watching the day become fogged and misty, missing someone while the rain painting the trees calls out the name of someone who will not return.  Since it's been raining for a few days (even here in KY, we are feeling the effects of the hurricane), this seemed appropriate for this week.  

I previously said the U.S. was not hit by this hurricane, but was reminded by Elizabeth that the U.S. WAS hit by Hurricane Joaquin in the form of unimaginable rain falling for DAYS on South Carolina and along the eastern coast of the U.S.  I don't know how many homes flooded.  So although the hurricane did not make land on our southeastern coast, the U.S. was damaged. Let's hope that this is the only bad storm for 2015 (seeing the people rescued from rooftops was too reminiscent of Katrina in 2005). 

My husband is a marine biologist.  He has been taking research groups and students to the Bahamas, to San Salvador Island for decades.  We always stayed at the Gerace Research Center (GRC).  As word continues to come in, we learn that the GRC is still standing but many homes are destroyed, roofs are off, water damage is immense, and cleanup from twisted trees is unimaginable.  Hurricane Joaquin hovered over the islands for three days with 130 mph winds.  Send your thoughts and prayers to them - and to the many who lost their lives in the cargo ship that went down during the hurricane, as well as those on our own southeastern coastline who are facing major cleanup and repair.  


Deborah Nolan said...

Rhonda- What a sad poem. Very appropriate for the folks caught in the hurricane. Praying everyone is safe too. Hope the sun is shining today in your part of the world. Hugs!

E.M. Corsa said...

Remember, the effects of the hurricane did hit home, the effects of the storm brought grief to the US families of the lost cargo ship to the horrendous flooding in South Carolina has caused great misery to those residents.

RH Carpenter said...

You are so right, Elizabeth. I did not mean to say people in the US were not affected because we all saw the horrific flooding and damage and terror on the news - and I just heard yesterday that the ship and its crew have not been found.

Yes, our sun is shining but I know the south was still experiencing rain as late as Monday - on top of historically bad rainfalls already with no where to go but inland.