Storm mallets on a flat roof wake me
into a surprise of being.
Outside this undraped window, thousands
of raindrops wind-blown orange through streetlight
become streams braided from gutters to corner pools.
Lone freight train rolling over creosote ties,
an engineer horns his way through the liquid dark.
Hungry to see his aging face in a dawn lit mirror
he palms a rain-soaked cloth brow to chin.
Storm drums his iron hut, face led
by a bright lamp on wet tracks,
this heavy rain waxed red and white
by the crossing gates and marquees of small towns.
Wet antlers between blue spruce,
the quick smoldered gleams of animal eyes
© by Charles Thielman.
Used with the author’s permission.