I stumble on Bukowski early in the dark
morning, pleased to hear him voice
basic town stuff from the other side
of the page, but glad he’s not been
riding shotgun through this drought,
cussing everyone including God.
We hung a little hope on the gray
rolling in, gathering on the ridges—
on gusts stirring up, then down canyon
and grinned like foolish children
who still believed in weathermen
and Santa Claus. We dreamed
of how much rain it would take
to fill all the new cracks in clay
where the thin grass fades—
of an errant thunderstorm
that could fill the dirt tanks
and let the creek run
enough to meander and pool
under canopies of sycamores and oaks
for the Wood Ducks, cattle and us.
Through the black screen door,
wind under my skin,
I hear it begin to rain.