poetry and poets

Thursday, February 10, 2005

mrs. timlin's rain

mrs. timlin’s rain
tony gallucci

Okay. Sycamore Street at Fourth, 10 p.m. It's pouring down the gutter, sounds like a river. Mrs. Timlin sits backlit at the picture window, leans forward as far as fear allows. Sometimes her nose presses to the window. That wheelchair, mean as spit at your feet, allows no more. How many times has it thrown her helpless to the floor? She knows her limits. Bolts flash fascination across her face. She hates rain. Boys, saturated with dust and grime from hard days in the trash-strewn backlots, track it through the house. The mud stalks her, smirks from little crannies she can't reach to clean, laughs from carpet she cannot scrub. But then there is a giving, a loosing of lifeblood to this foul, barely fertile land, and in it she knows its worth. Here, where everything is armed like angry kids in alleys, she can't deny the land its thirst for a little mud. In the picture of her picture window, Dutch girl hovering in the corner of her own life, she waits. For electricity to spark her, to raise the hair on her delicate arms, to expose me watching, waiting too for moments, fleeting microseconds when all the world is alive in the infinite molecules suspended between us, suspended above the dirt here at Sycamore Street at Fourth, middle of the whole world. Did she know? Did she watch me sitting on the curb, rain twirling my hair into spiral spigots pouring down my cheeks? Did she feel the rush of tensed follicles behind my collar? Or hear me being called for from the cracks of doors in dark houses? Washed in light, did she reason why? Did she see light for what it is and not what we expect from it? Did she know it rains on Sycamore Street? Know the world gets its water from three places, rain, spigots and tears, and when one dries up the next always comes through? Did she know, sitting there, picture in her picture window?