My mom once caught me walking home from middle school, splashing along the side of the road, umbrella swinging from my wrist. She’d gotten off early and decided to pick me up to save me some walking in the weather. But it was one of those warm Texas rains, and I was having fun. She wasn’t pleased with me.
You have to be careful, though, the moving water will pull a flip-flop or sandal right off.
I ran into this again, less voluntarily, at the cross walk on my college campus. Those roaring waters were usually too wide to jump over after anything more than a gentle drizzle. And the students driving to class laughed when they saw me chasing after my shoes.
I laughed when I saw the long lines as they circled endlessly for one of the few parking spots, so I guess it evens out.
In my poetry, I focus on imagery, use as little punctuation as I can get away with, rarely rhyme, and pare it down to a minimum. It’s not The Red Wheelbarrow, but poems like that helped shape my current style. Working with a set rhyme scheme and meter makes me feel crazy, so it’s for the best.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I will float my umbrella on the curb rivers
and chase after it splashingly
catch it before it escapes
into a ditch
or stalls against a corner
upend it over my head so it pours
clean cold laughter
down on my upturned face
and then return to the rules
of roof and wall
change into dry clothes so no one can tell
I ever left