Esther Sadoff
Featured image: Umbrellas © Ann Calandro 2019


Runnels of rain overrun their banks,
escaping the frenzied wiper blades
as they dribble across my window.
They dip, scoop up beads of water,
and grow tails like darting tadpoles.
They depart in a shiny smear of wind.

The rain reminds me of waiting
to leave my grandmother’s house,
a storm brewing in the darkened
corners of the heavy sky.

There was an echo of dishes clacked
in the sink, a slammed door,
a shadowy retreating figure.
We quietly put our things in the car.
She couldn’t stand for us to go.

Pine trees turned into rivers,
turned into yellow corn,
turned into mountains,
and long raindrop races.

I made bets on the winner
as droplets quivered and ran.
I watched the green forest
glint in their watery domes
flecked with the dark rim of the sky.

I pictured my grandmother sitting
in the sanctuary of her room
with the heavy pink curtains drawn,
waiting by the bedside phone,
rain falling like pebbles on the roof.

I thought of how waiting had become
the primary tenet of childhood
and maybe adulthood too.
I envisioned entire rainy cities of
doting grandmothers sending letters
and phoning their impatient, rowdy
grandkids who guiltily couldn’t wait to go.