I used to feel that nature
would always put itself right again.
 I don’t feel that now.
She dutifully performed
 Even at her most unexpected,
I expected things set right again.

Our town waited
to be woken
from its bleary,
dark dream.
In the Valley,
water fell
and water rose
and covered it again

Rowing over the churchyard
the bottom of the boat
scraping now and again
over a bench or tree trunk,
over what I now understand
were probably gravestones
wreaths of white peonies
and green apples floating past.

When the black waters receded
My Daddy said,
” I don’t care what anyone says,
We have the nicest church,
the best little congregation,
wherever one or two are gathered,
I will dwell among thee”

Later, the flat desert of Los Angeles
becomes the rolling knobs
of Kentucky before my eyes
Everyone’s in the street,
leaving their cars,
 to look up at the falling rain.
It had been over a year.

On the Television,
a preacher rows through
New Orleans.