How I Came To Love Flowers

At first I guess I didn’t notice the lack of rain.
I was a child and didn’t know anything else.
Back then, the mid fifties, there wasn’t much
beauty to hold onto. A sprig of grass
was a something special and a yard
with crepe myrtle and glads, that was the finest,
especially, if there was a rosebush too.
Those old fashioned roses smelled wonderful.
But it was hot in the afternoon. Plain hot.
The memory of cicadas still whirs in my brain,
even now, after all these years.
Heat and no relief were the enemy within,
the body and mind rebelling, yearning
for water, something to soothe our
parched lives, quench our burning thirst,
now matter how fleeting, how brief,
a drenching storm to save the last
of the vanishing trees, keeping us
and all we loved, all we knew, alive.
When the rain finally came, it was sweet.
I was almost five years old
when the seven-year drought broke.
For the first time in my short life
I witnessed water falling from the sky
and running down the street,
swelling the town’s shallow creeks
to brimful, quelling the heat and cleansing
the earth after too many long, dry years.
I pretended the two-inch torrent was
my own private river, watched intently
as the rushing water cooled my toes and
pulsed through my fingers, amazed at the joy
and genuine elation manifested in something
as simple as rain pouring down from heaven,
answering the prayers of the faithful
in an arid, weary land. Been a true believer to this day.

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