Black Bottom Storm

After the black bottom storm
scuds across the lake, and the beech tree
throws its dying branches down,
the lake begins to sing. In the afterstorm,
lighter clouds passing through behind the front
fling a few shapes on the water, smaller drops
like tiny bells ringing on the surface.
This is the sound of water falling into water --
the sizzle of bacon frying, the steady breath
of wet sheets flying on the line.
The old priest with his laundry
runs in from the storm, robes dark with rain,
and ducks into the church for confession.
The whisper of their voices
through the curtain on the wall
flows through the window
with the clear truth of the falling rain.

Healdsburg, 1997

Black Bottom Storm (MP3)

© Scott Reid, 1997


Le Radeau de la Méduse
by Théodore Géricault