Cento: Hurricane Reel

in Environment/Hurricanes by

looked out the window
it’s pouring down the rain
and I cry, “baby I believe
it’s raining all over the world”

I feel the rain running down my face
taste the rain on my lips
before it’s over
it will wash away all I had

if I could just live on
with these things I have known —
watch the lightning
when it lights up the sky—

I hear your voice calling
asking to see me run so freely
peeling the rain off:
“we gotta head for higher ground”

how high’s the water mama?
how high’s the water papa?
in the twilight glow I see them
“it’s all right we can make it”

finally got a ride to the road in a homemade boat
the only thing left that’ll float
with a preacher man who asked
“where you bound on such a cold dark afternoon?”

as the rains
made rivers swell
we found love
in the darkness

blue eyes crying
when we kissed
cow’s in water
up past her knees

I wake up to a sunny day
It sure as hell looks just like rain
all I know is I want
to bring you home


Poet’s Note: All lines are from songs recorded by Johnny Cash (“Five Feet High and Rising”), Patsy Cline (“Don’t Ever Leave Me”), Merle Haggard (“The Day the Rains Came Down” & “When It Rains It Pours”), Waylon Jennings (“Rainy Day Woman”), Loretta Lynn (“Naked in the Rain”), Ronnie Milsap (“Smokey Mountain Rain”), Willie Nelson (“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”), Elvis Presley (“Kentucky Rain”), Eddie Rabbit (“I Love a Rainy Night”), & Conway Twitty (“Rainy Night in Georgia”).

Read More:

A long and fraught recovery [Washington Post]
Resilience, suffering and silver linings after a disaster [CNN]

Professional editor J. Todd Hawkins writes and lives in Texas. He is the author the chapbook Ten Counties Away (Finishing Line Press).  His poetry has recently appeared in AGNI, The Bitter Oleander, The Louisville Review, Bayou Magazine, Sakura Review, and American Literary Review.

Photo by chuttersnap.