Jan Carroll

Deal With It

Yes, I was wishing for rain
but not to be bolted out of bed
by gunshot thunder at five a.m.

The dog saw this coming, though, woke,
the gyroscope within tilted to tip her off,
the front encroaching, inching on haunches.

             I was just thinking yesterday
how much easier it is to garden
than to keep people
when it poured straight, hard, for hours,
beating down the beet leaves
and feathery carrot-start faces
into the mud
of the bed                   because
that heavy-dark cloud head
had so much to say, so much
to get off its chest
and it thought my plot
in the community garden
the perfect spot
to drain on.

I get lonely for human contact, too,
for words to wet
the so-often heat-baked dirt
I’m rooted in
but not to be flooded
with your whole gravity-fed water-tower release
at one elongated fell swoop. And, hey—
once it starts to rain, turn
the sprinklers off.

Jan Carroll's work has appeared in journals such as Bellowing Ark, Cider Press Review, Artemis Journal, California Quarterly, and Borderlands. She facilitates small poetry-writing groups and works in regional and local publishing. Carroll lives in the river city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.