by Tom Bajoras

The rain comes waltzing across the lawn:
Ballroom gown billowing as she twirls,
one two three, two two three.
You want to join the dance,
but your mother says stay inside and
wait for it to stop.

Ten years later you open the front door
and tiptoe in, trying not to wake your parents,
making it to your bedroom,
where you close yourself in.
You delete his pictures from your phone,
tears streaming down your face,
your heart melting
like raindrops on the floor.

Suddenly you’re twenty-five,
you’re strong, you’re alive,
you can’t wait for each day to come,
to work in the summer sun,
sweat dripping from your face.
You will never be tired
as long as you can dig,
and with each well
someone will never thirst again.

After thirty years you are nothing but tired.
All night long the faucet in the bathroom is dripping—
just one of the broken things
in a broken life.

Another thirty years, and you can’t even hear the raindrops.
Only the spaces between them.
You count those spaces—
one two three, two two three—
and you wait for the rain to stop.