between the rain
rain falling as it did and does
and hasn't stopped but for the tiny
moments between cat's feet
and the last leaves curled and
spinning through January to
drenched bent grass below
from my willow the corkscrew willow
I started from two feet high (when
my mother still lived and laughed)
and now reaches above my second
floor window where I watch the
rain the endless rain I hear it
against the glass against the walls
upon the dark street and snug houses
and in the distance between and
over the rooftops oh the hills
the hills of the Geysers hills
of St. Helena now so winter
green and wrapped in rain the rain
falling as it did falling as it does
between the drops of rain the
streaks of wet dark sky between
the laughter and the willow


© January 1997 Leslye Layne Russell

This poem won a 1998 Dickens Poetry Award
and was published in the 1998 issue
of The Dickens and in the October 1997 issue
of "One Dog Press."


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