I tried to avoid the raindrops

Made my body small

Like a child

Or like a Morning Glory at midnight

Then, it began to pour.



Faced with impending deluge

I shielded my head

With the hood of my coat

Already dripping water

Onto my brown leather shoes.



Some of the clouds above me

Were pregnant with pain

But they did not cry

Held back their tears


Blew cold breath

Through the edges of my hair

And laughed

Just a bit

As they watched my eyes

Blink to stave off the dry.



Other clouds,

Employed by a different judge,

Spilled first drops

And then faucets full

Atop my head

So much

That I halted my goal

To hide

And stood wide,




A bridge stretched near me

Splashing with cars

And bicycles burdened by

Suits who made no provision

For the storm

Forced waterfalls over the edge

Where an old woman

Wrapped in bags

Tried not to suffocate

Beneath the crinkling plastic.



I thought twice—

Once to race toward safety

And join the trash bag woman

Huddled below the makeshift


Save myself from this torrent

Under which I was reeling—

Like a knight dropping

Chainmail to replace it with

Loose cotton and sea shells

Sandy with oceanic meanderings


I unzipped what was fastened

Felt the weight of my red canvas bag


Into a puddle beside me

Wrapped my protection

Around my waist and

Stood inside the tick of the moment

Forgot that the tock was coming and

I let the clouds paint the canvas of me

In colors of reciprocity.



The sky received my vulnerability

Returned it with gentility

In a circle of being alive

A lifting of the head and a

Forehead kiss melting

Invisible dread.



As the hand on my wrist

Continued on

Like a soldier or

The tide or

The moon and the sun

A memory came and then it

It was gone—

When I remembered him

I also remembered I was wet

My leather leaking

Maniacal raindrops seeping into

The red bag

Filled with weight

An icon of fate in the form of

Lovers meeting.



Like a pause between words

A rest between notes

I closed my eyes and journeyed

Somewhere far

Through the wheels of my


Where the sky was not an


But a field rolled wide for

Expeditions dared by those—

By me—

Who wanted to drown but


Who learned how to fly

Like a moonlit Sparrow who is free.


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: this poem was inspired by the art of French artist Antoine Josse.  https://www.facebook.com/antoinejosse.art/)