Rain at Night
Rain insists all evening. We shelter in place,
not thinking about the homeless. Love may conceive
upstairs, in isolation from the elements.
A boy’s night is long under canvas, him alone.
Rain fingers’ patter cannot reach his face; they seem
feminine, like Sirens tapping Ulysses’ prow.
Or he lies on a bunk in the cottage Dad helped build;
listens to rain on shingles just overhead.
A book of poetry, from the shelf containing all
the Reader’s Digest Condensations, has The Eve
of St. Agnes: “Her rich attire creeps rustling
to her knees.” In the rain he can hear it, as he waits
for parents to go out for the evening. He will drift
asleep afterward, rain on the window like pearls
she removed, warm from her bosom, in Keats’ poem.
Seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee Russell Rowland writes from New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, where he has judged high-school Poetry Out Loud competitions. His work appears in Except for Love: New England Poets Inspired by Donald Hall (Encircle Publications), and “Covid Spring, Vol. 2” (Hobblebush Books). His latest poetry book, Wooden Nutmegs, is available from Encircle Publications.