Painting by Derek Fitzpatrick


by L. Ward Abel

Ragged black clouds that can’t rain.
What water they do produce trails only
part ways down.  The air inhales it
far above ground.  A shower dies
suspended, frozen like a hook.

I am really worried this time.  In uncharted
country, I pick up the pace, even
whistle this tune you hear me give.  I’m afraid
I might lose it all. 
There are prayers I could say, prayers for morning.

My tune is a chain saw symphony with crickets, with fish,
with wrong way birds that can’t read music,
all of this is home for me now.  Like rain
that doesn’t rain.  They make mattresses specially
for rooms at the centers of houses, to protect from

flying glass.  From tornados.  I sleep on a
mattress like that.