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god made it rain

from by Diane Cluck



god made it rain
so i'd run to the bus stop
god knew otherwise i'd be late
i grab the umbrella torn from a pawn shop
drop all my keys down a grate
but i have to give up and keep running--
i choke on my cough drop
the neighbor's dog's launching itself at the gate,
tossing itself like a ship onto rocks
a creature that will not resign to its fate

i say, “gimme five”, to my neighbor, a lefty
he thought i meant money and handed me some
i gave it back to my four-fingered lefty
he slaps me five
by adding the thumb from his right hand
he says, “diane,
why don't you quit that job that you've got?
if you always run late, you must hate it.
you know, if i were a woman
i'd get me knocked up
so i could sit home and look out at the snow”

we watched the rain make old snow into glass
snow into glass like the sun does to sand
he says, "do you want to ?" and i say, "i guess..."
he shivers under my five-fingered hand

my spent neighbor leaves our sleight-of-hand alley
and i am alone until something gets thrown at me
blood on my cheek
and the laughter of children
the sting of a snowball embedded with stone
i see neighborhood mothers wig out from their windows
watching their archangels arc in the snow
in sub-zero tempertures
rigid and rosey
kids stagger by with a frostbitten glow

god made it rain so i'd run to the bus stop
god knew otherwise i'd stay home
calling in sick is no final solution
hiding in bed and unplugging the phone
sometimes you must work
until you give out
sometimes you must work
until all work is done
look at the way the rain clears a path
for the sky to conceive an immaculate sun


from macy's day bird, released November 15, 2001


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