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Tin Rain

Updated on April 19, 2015
Ralph Gibson "On Time"
Ralph Gibson "On Time"

A symphony of beats

no strings, no brass

just subtle drops

bouncing, echoing


Making their way from

the eaves to the ground

softly, steadily.

Where will they go

when they leave me?

When the last tap of their

liquid wisdom is gone?

Will they come back?

You didn't.

So who then will sing me this song?


We ran from the lake, drenched to the bone; water running down our faces and dripping off our finger tips. You gave me your jacket and laughed as I stretched my arms to see how far they would reach in the long blue sleeves.

The rain became a song as we entered the woods, and I gave up on the coat. For the first time I listened to that organic symphony, finding its song as you made each note distinct; pointing out the flat beat of maple leaves and the soft plop of the mud, the patter of the stones and whisper of the birches; we danced, sopping, smiling, slipping on pine needles and fallen leaves. Hands cold, faces warm with laughing.

As we walked back the rain stopped for a moment, so we did too. Standing staring at the sky as it revealed a soft wisp of cerulean blue. You said nothing, but as you stared intently at that patch of blue I knew you wouldn't stay. I was a just a day, a memory made and forgotten.

Suddenly I wanted it to end, for that lazy music to fall like sweet sleep on the day. So I ran, hoping you wouldn't follow. Perhaps you knew it was my way of letting go, granting freedom from a life you should never be forced to know. Or maybe you just never gave it a thought.

When you caught up with me, we said nothing. I gave back the coat and stood alone, alone in the rain, as your tail lights faded into the summer mist.

The rain has become my touchstone now, with each storm my internal clock turns upside down, like an hourglass reset. The dark clouds and slanting rain making it impossible to tell how long has past or what is coming.

Outside the lake wrinkles in silky silver folds, only the dark grey silhouette of the far shore and the pure white line of mist that runs before it are clear. My eyes close themselves; all this water weighing them down with its constant erosive beat. A beat I find myself keeping, a silent metronome of a dripping orchestra.

The roof keeps time with me, each tinny syllable like a gentle tap of a cymbal. The leaves the steady thump of the brass and the old dead trees the bass drums.

With a dismissive wave I disregard the wind section completely, they've never been my favorite anyway, and relegate the howling gusts and drifts to the sweeping sounds of the strings.

As the storm lulls I draw my breath in anticipation and taking undeserved responsibility for this massive symphony I give a solemn nod to my invisible players to take as long as they like between movements; allow the audience to savor the last and dream of the next.

In these moments I know the truth; that I lost you before I met you. Maybe no one ever really found you; I think you preferred it that way. No strings, nothing to keep you down when you could be there; flying above it all, infinitely free.

© 2013 brownella


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    • brownella profile image

      brownella 3 years ago from New England

      Hi Bluebird. Thank you so much for reading (and sharing). I look forward to reading some of your work as well :-)

    • brownella profile image

      brownella 3 years ago from New England

      Hi suzettenaples, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It is always hard to post poetry since it is so personal so it's extra nice when it is appreciated. Thanks for reading :-)

    • bluebird profile image

      bluebird 3 years ago

      This is a work of art, really. It amazes me how it all comes together and every word fits perfectly with the rest. It is a simplistic idea with touch of nature all around it, and it also plays a symphony. Wow!

      Excellent job, so glad I read this and will do so again, and share with my son who loves music as I do, it's that good!

      Also who cannot relate to lost love? You wove it in perfectly.

      I really look forward to reading more from you my dear. This has been flagged awesome and beautiful!

      I am definitely following you happily.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      What a beautiful poem and prose. This is so engaging to read. How a rainy day must bring back beautiful and bittersweet memories for you. Your words just slip off the tongue when reading. I love the image and it is perfect for this piece of writing. The rain can bring both happiness and loneliness. You have written your message so well. Voted up and shared!

    • brownella profile image

      brownella 4 years ago from New England

      I'm so glad you all enjoyed it. I'm always a little nervous about posting poetry. Thanks!

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Lovely, exquisite, strong expression in so few words. Love it. Up and beautiful.

    • profile image

      Joanne M Olivieri 4 years ago

      Oh, I love this. What a great poem and fantastic ending. Very well written.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Lovely, lovely write!

    • brownella profile image

      brownella 4 years ago from New England

      Thanks, both of you. I'm so glad you liked it.

    • M Zees profile image

      Muhammad Zeeshan 4 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      simply beautiful, enough said.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      A wonderful metaphor for loneliness. The impermanent rain and the relationship. Really well done!