Rain in My Hands / Grass, the ConquerorRascal2017-12-29T22:38:12+00:00
Rain in My Hands
A friend told me, “I can’t tell if this is a year of gain or loss.” She flinched as if someone had lain cold hands upon her shoulders. “I miss the splash of water on my skin,” she said, and everywhere, the trees agreed, their branches lifted to the sky like the arms of preachers. It’s October. The heat won’t leave, keeps us bent to the ground like tired cats. Imagination built the West, but drought takes it back. The swimming pools are empty, concrete- coated holes dyed nursery blue. My sleeping dog flips her tail and sobs, and I remember a recent dream: I stood alone in the grass and felt the rain falling on my hands.
Grass, the Conqueror
It’s a wild green animal. It wants to be everywhere. It’s an ocean. You could surf this grass. It’s food.
It’s juicy and messy and tough. It heals wounds. You could wear this grass. It looks good on everyone.
This grass moves into the neighborhood, puts down roots, and stands up for itself.
You can’t mow this grass. It’s out of your league. This grass is a machine. It laughs at your sidewalk.
It eats concrete for breakfast. This grass will cut you. It’s full of tiny knives. It grabs your ankles and trips you.
This grass is soft. It’s a bed, a fort, a cave. It’s home to the red-legged locust and the American bird grasshopper.
It’s where the leaf beetle meets the swallowtail butterfly meets the crab spider. Lie down in this grass. Listen.
This grass is faster than sound. It’s louder than thought. Pray to this grass. Perhaps it will hear you.
Erica Goss served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, California from 2013-2016. Her latest poetry collection, Night Court, won the 2016 Lyrebird Prize from Glass Lyre Press. She is the author of Wild Place (2012, Finishing Line Press) and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets (2014, Pushpen Press). She is the co-founder of Media Poetry Studio, a poetry-and-film camp for teen girls, and the founder of Video Storytelling. Erica lives in Eugene, Oregon, and teaches classes in poetry and video.