Speaking to the Rain, by Donald Illich






We can speak to the rain,

but it does not say anything to us.

“Why are you so strong?

Why do you want to flood us?”

we ask it.  But it only pushes

harder toward the ground,

forming mud, overflowing

the creek.  We don’t understand

why it will never answer,

when we can hear its voice

in its fall from the sky, tinkling

sound of drizzle, the thumps

of downpours.  Walking into

the open, our clothes are drenched,

they stick to our body, becoming

almost translucent with water.

We find canoes and inflatable rafts,

afraid we might have to float

to survive.  Maybe there is

a common language we’re missing?

Maybe the rain speaks Esperanto,

maybe it’s an unidentified tongue?

In translation books, we sift through

Mongolian and French, but are not

able to find one.  What we fear most

is that wind will arrive, and then we’ll

have to translate further.  Except

we know that it’s always spoken to us

in English, in nightmares, where it blows

down alphabets, turns words into screams.


D_IllichDonald Illich has published poetry in journals such as The Iowa Review, Nimrod, Passages North, and Sixth Finch. His chapbook, which will be published by Finishing Line Press, is “The Art of Dissolving.” He lives in Rockville, Maryland. His blog is The Art of Dissolving. The link to his chapbook to pre-order is here at Finishing Line Press.


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