My son dislikes rain, how it soaks
everything, keeps people indoors.
He’s glad he lives in California,
where three drops falling from the sky
constitute a rainstorm, a miracle
talked about by neighbors
when they emerge from their houses.
He doesn’t remember being two
in Michigan, where rain fell so hard
it bounced on the concrete.
His face filled with joy, he jumped up
and down, his bare feet
slapping the concrete to splash
the water, reveled in how
he could control his universe.
When did that change? When
did he lose joy unencumbered,
that explosion of happiness?
I used to tell him about that day,
how suddenly he turned cold
and we took him upstairs
for a warm bath with his tub toys.
As he grew, I made jokes about how he wasn’t
the wicked witch of the west. After that,
when rain fell, he ran Indoors, wiggled his hands
and shouted, “I’m melting, I’m melting.”
Now, the reservoirs are shrinking,
Lake Oroville so low this past summer,
the power plant was shut down.
The water rose, thanks to freak rainstorms
one weekend in October. My neighbors
rejoiced that the drought was over.
I couldn’t convince them otherwise.