Stars and planets run wild
at night, summer days bring no rain,
farmers strain to move heaven
and earth to thunder, weeds scream
in pain, grass bristles, leaves are still.
Your renown brown and dry
as the grass, once green and spry.
Your mind falters, once quick
enough to make dust fly. A dog’s rustic,
woody bark, too much like bark
of drought-stressed trees.
Have you put your ear to their trunks
and listened, as they strain to sip drops
up their straws to the tips of the farthest
leaves, imagined you hear their hollow tubes
break from the pressure of bubbles?
Memory’s drought: each word
remembered a precious drop
not to be wasted. But all
you remember is the rhyme
about King Henry the Eighth’s wives:
“Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced,
beheaded, survived.” Will the trees
die or survive?
A snake lies flattened and dried
on the road, your feet scuff gravel,
your mind a thundercloud of anger
because you can’t remember
the smell of rain.
By Meg Freer
Meg Freer grew up in Missoula, Montana, US, and now lives with her family in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where she teaches piano and enjoys running and photography. She began writing poetry in 2015. Her photos and poems have won awards both in North America and overseas and have been published in chapbooks and in both print and online anthologies. In 2017 she won a fellowship and attended the Summer Literary Seminars in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. Journal entries and photos from Tbilisi may be found here.
Photo by Kritsada Seekham