Losing the Drought

For me the absence was a presence,
a clear-eyed partner
advising as I rearranged my garden
or hiked the coastal ridges
on cloudless afternoons.
I learned moderation,
bath water to the rose beds
and three-minute showers but mainly
a new way of seeing,
looking at the bones of things.

Drought came at the right time,
matched me year for year,
father buried, daughters grown,
the city burning and this body,
once lavish and wasteful
in its affections, subdued.

What am I to do with abundance now,
the swollen creeks, scattered petals?
Grass chokes every crevice.
I want hard edges back.


Poems by Sharon Fain:

Snowy Owl
Getting It Right
A Birth
Waiting for the Bear
Screen Saver
Losing the Drought
Isla Mujeres: Weeks Before the Breakdown
On Hearing Jack Gilbert Talk About Death
One Month at Casa Sotovento
Out on the Deck at Sirens
Waiting to Hear About the Biopsy
Elvis at Chiang Mai
High Desert
Letters From Sarajevo
On Seeing the Place Where I First Made Love

TIMES TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets