Luke Johnson



Row-boats paddle Main and leaf-clogged gutters
run over, floating half-filled bird-feeders
off branches. A woman on her roof strips
down. Almost furtive the way she's waving:
covering her chest with one arm, flailing mist
with the other. This lull, while the warped eaves
dry, water keeps rising, the ground softens.
Miles off, couples mute the news and listen:

It's not so hard to imagine the rain.
I long to hear that gallop on tin roofs,
my uncle's—mother's youngest brother—thin
shack where we drained a flask of hundred-proof
scotch after the last ceremony. Stilled,
we put her shoes outside and watched them fill.