NIGHT RAIN IN THE DESERT by Molly McKasson Morgan

It was such a long time

since the last rain

that when it started the other night

I thought it was a truck rumbling

down the street, and when

it pelted the roof and rang

the gutter it didn’t register

so much as water as it did

a broken chain of beads

rolling over corrugated tin.

That is how long it had been.


When it did sink in

I sat down on the porch

and cried.

I’ve heard that other cultures hear rain

in a different part of the brain

as a feeling not a sound.

As if the two could be pulled apart

after such a long drought,

as if between three tiny bones in the ear

you couldn’t hear abundance and loss

trembling at the same time.

As if all of us didn’t know the night rain

was so unnatural for this time of year,

and fear that something else

would now go wrong.


I listened for a long time

as the rain disappeared

into the thirsty ground,

barely breathing, as dormant seeds

inside the buried matrix

began to swell.

Molly McKasson Morgan, 75, lives in Tucson, Arizona. She is mostly retired, though she still teaches creative nonfiction through The Learning Curve.

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