Lisa Dordal

The History of Rain

The history of rain
is the history of hands—

gods in low hills,
holding thunder

and flame. Rain pressed
into ash. The history of rain

is the history of prayer
(as syllable, as sound).

Small bones forced
into urns. The history of rain

is plague, is exile,
is horses and mud;

sap from tall trees,
brewed over fire.

The history of rain
is male, is female;

is burning and being burned;
hanging and hanged.

The history of rain
is the history of children

gnawing on roots;
the white of parched fields

lit by the moon. The history of rain
is the history of semen

that softens the ground.
The history of rain

is small and round
and perched on the shoulders

of a god’s blue skin.
The history of rain

is the history of glass,
of vessels—ceramic and bronze—

silent as the bones
still waiting to rise.

 

Lisa DordalLisa Dordal (M.Div., M.F.A.), author of Commemoration from Finishing Line Press, teaches in the English Department at Vanderbilt University. A Pushcart Prize nominee and the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, her poetry has appeared in a variety of journals, including Best New Poets, Cave Wall, CALYX, The Greensboro Review, Nimrod, New Millennium Writings, and The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. For more information about her poetry, please visit her website at lisadordal.com.

 

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