The Crucible


July, 1998: Age Seven

by Alyssa Agerton

Children anticipate warm Pennsylvania

rains. Meandering over misty hillsides,

against backdrops of azure-amber

sky, a product of the rising sun. Rain

cloud creeping, as if connected to the dawn,

wet drops fall, dripping down necks,

navigating their way over spines, back

and forth like the laziest of rivers,

pools of water gathering to play

on scalps and shoulders, soaking

into sweaters and purses, compelling

early risers to scramble for shelter.

Nearby, in a small town where

the county fair rolls in but once

a year, the rain is signaling for its

brothers: thunder, lightning.

Stampeding over hills, declaring

their arrival with fanfare music

like that of a dozen cookie

sheets escaping the hands of a clumsy

grandmother to clamor to the floor.

Mothers teleport onto porches, hands and hips

connected, to call in their flocks. No puddle

jumping with electric currents running in the air.

Everyone: gather bright yellow rain slickers,

yank on hand-me-down rubber boots. Distribute

charcoal striped and lavender dotted umbrellas.

The rain has settled contently in between the hills.