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Saturday, January 23, 2021


by Buff Whitman-Bradley

Illustration by Matthew Laznicka for In These Times.

A day of soaking rains.
Crowds of sparrows
Foraging in garden mud
For seeds exposed by the downpour.
Gutters and storm drains
Clogged with great clumps of wet leaves.
Persimmon trees 
Stripped of their foliage
Their naked bodies ornamented
With glowing orange lanterns.
Shiny, water-slicked buckeyes 
And bay nuts 
Littering the ground.
We have waited and waited
And waited
For the rains to arrive
To drench the soil
To fill the creeks
To bathe the dry woods
That throughout the hot, dry, red-flag season
Whispered in our uneasy dreams
Threats to erupt in flames
That would come fee-fie-foe-fumming 
Down the mountain
Like a malevolent fairy tale giant
With a hunger for our homes,
For our neighborhoods,
For our bones.
Rest easy sing the little silver-footed fairies
Dancing on the roof,
For now.

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s poems have appeared in numerous print and only journals. His new book At the Driveway Guitars Sale is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Publishing Company. He podcasts poems of aging, memory, and mortality at and lives with his wife Cynthia in northern California.