Spring Flooding
by Russell Rowland



On top of spring runoff, three days of rain.
Storm drains quit swallowing and regurgitate.
This must be the vintage preachers asked
in prayer: tomatoes too heavy for their vines.

For what is a flood, or even a drowning,
but too much of a desired thing? I think
of the terminal air bubble, bursting through
agitated surfaces, as of a kettle at full boil—

it informs us helpless watchers on the shore
that water has replaced oxygen in the lungs,
a faltering swimmer has returned to origins;
yet we do not lose hope, O we of little faith.

Miniscule purple finches at this moment
are bathing and sipping, where there used
to be no birdbath at all for them. And we
think ourselves more ethereal than they.






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