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Bonnie Widerman

The History of Rain

The end of a long dry spell
came suddenly, as I watched the Mississippi
churn its muddy waters southward.

The river burbled and kicked,
taunting the bone-dry skies
until clouds spun and billowed,
plumped and grayed, raced and lunged
and broke open, recalling all at once
the whole history of rain.

For hours, the torrent pounded
the French Market and streets
welled up in murky pools.
The downpour flashed across
the unsuspecting city, silent
as a film from archive,
its soundtrack lost to years of drought.

That day—
the day the sky emptied its river
onto the hard New Orleans soil
and melted it to clay—
the floodgates unhinged:
water rushed back to parched places
and every magnolia, fleur de lis
and blade of fountain grass,
steeped in the memory of its past,
found reason to dream again.

About the Author

Bonnie Widerman is a marketing & communications professional who can be found burning the midnight oil writing poetry. She has published poems for children in Ladybug Magazine and Fandangle. Her other passions are genealogy and turtle-spotting. Bonnie lives in Irvine with her husband and two daughters.

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