There, at the far end of the long, ramshackle yard,
Where grandpa’s garden starts,
And the apricot tree:
Pilfered Mockingbird delights,
For us, the watch from a circle of chairs
Some Sunday afternoon.
But that was before the rain,
And the wind, and shuttered windows,
Only to peek, to scratch its belly,
We knew when to stay in
And dash out,
Before the water came
Or in between.
Then we were graced with the long showery spring,
Great stories I was since told, in thunder and sun,
While I huddled in fear of night and flashing sounds,
In the time of peas,
And chicken manured spring gardens.
The San Joaquin would run high that spring
Into the summer
When the first zucchini bloomed,
And we rinsed the last of the mud from our socks.
Like it always was,
Back there, where the water still was.