Canadian Poetry Online top banner link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page

Bloom Rain

Elisabeth Harvor
From:   Fortress of Chairs. Vehicule Press, 1992


How do we do it?
Learn how to be old?
When it's not
what we planned on? Once
I walked down the street
with only one thought
in my head (your name), it was
raining, there were tipped shelves
of boxes, they smelled of wet wood
and bananas and the bananas were
wet and the green grapes
were wet, I was having my period
(I was always having my period
when it was raining) and

everywhere there were umbrellas
raised up, ruby shelters
lit by rainy-sky light
and the mounds of the garden too,
petal-littered,
everything driven,
rained down
onto the shrapnel,
the sharp stones of the

pocked lawns and gravel and
under the small hoisted world
of every umbrella, people hurrying
or plotting (people plot more when
it's raining, a little-known fact
from the annals of rain-lore—they
plan for sunlight, they plan
to be happy) and this
petal carnage, this windy
damp, these umbrellas
all had something to do with seepage, with
pelvic pain—with pelvic pain in
the rain and me walking along and
thinking your name and taking
such comfort in that persistent
dulled pain. Now, years later,
people walk in the rain as if they
are vowing things; to listen to more of
the kind of music that stirs
the soul, for instance—the kind of music
that makes you remember
you haven't lived the life

you wanted to live—no,
I don't imagine them vowing this,
I'm too unhappy to imagine other
people vowing things, I
won't give them the credit, I'm locked
in the egomania of regretting my life,

but oh, think of it! Never again to feel
that dragged young ache in the womb,
never again to feel that easing warm bloom
of the flood from your body

bathing me in every part of my body—the way
it tore a cry from me

and long before this, even—we are dancing,
your hand, fingers splayed on the small of my back and
formally steering me, heat blooming in
your palm, heat breathing in and out
of the heart of your stilled hand,

beyond us a line of
hung shirts and sweaters
wet with the colours of fog, of goldenrod,

turning as we turn,
the day's foggy too—it's almost dark,

now it is dark...is it
raining?

Memory wants rain

the night wind
in the shot garden—

a rattling,
an unfurling,

the black windows,
rain



Elisabeth Harvor's works copyright © to the author.


Canadian Poetry Online bottom banner link to University of Toronto Libraries home page link to Digital Collections home page link to University of Toronto Library catalogue link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page