Photo Art by Michael Dooley
When the rain came, the park flooded,
sun-beaten red slides stretched into muck-brown depths,
one seesaw end gasped for air while the other end drowned.
When the rain came, the mud slides began,
thick cuts peeled away from the mountain,
pinched houses into jigsaw pieces.
When the rain came, the river became an ocean,
trailers stood in the water, like herons on one leg,
the trees that remembered drink only in dreams woke again to their own shuddering gasps.
When the rain came, my grandmother stood on the porch in her nightgown,
silt swirled about the steps,
a dark blue tongue lapped at the wood bracing.
Come back inside, I told her.
She scooped heaping white tablespoons of sugar from the jar
and dropped each one overboard.
Storms needs sweetness too, she said.