Winter Wind

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude
-- William Shakespeare --


   The weather changes. It searches for a different arrangement. Things grow older. The rains come often, bringing with them the smell of Sunday morning asphalt. The Sun fights for its place in the sky. And the birds fly the horizon.
   "The reception here isn't good," he said.
   "Just keep trying, please," she said.
   "I'm telling you that the weather is affecting reception. I'm sorry," he said.
   "So am I," she said. She turned and stared through the window, bringing her hand to her face, then touching the cold glass. It hurt. The cold hurt.
   "I wish this damn rain would stop," he said.
   I wish this damn rain would stop. The words echoed in her head. She took her hand from the window and rubbed it. It was so cold. The weather. The window. Her hand. So cold.
   As they drove on, the rain continued to beat against them.
   "How much longer," she said.
   "Another two-hundred miles at least," he said.
   "And the rain? How much longer will it rain like this?"
   "I don't know," he said.
   I wish this damn rain would stop.
   "I thought it didn't rain here. You said it wouldn't rain."
   "I was wrong," he said, turning the knob on the radio.
   "Yes," she said, almost whispering.


   The wipers kept time with the rain, working together, making a kind of odd music unto themselves. Harmonious.
   "How much longer until we stop for the night," she said.
   "The nearest city is another sixty miles," he said. "We can get a room there for the night."
   "I am tired of driving," she said.
   "So am I," he said.
   Through the window she watched the road lights keeping time with the wipers keeping time with the rain.


   As she laid herself down (laid herself out) on the motel bed-a twin-she thought about the promise she had made. A promise made before God, before man, before the rain. Outside it kept falling, moving closer to the window. She watched the willow bent low to the ground-beaten low to the ground.
   He came over to her and sat beside her. His hands moved slowly to her face... her hair... her mouth... her neck... her shoulder... her breast. His body as well as hers. As well as his. He laid himself beside her. Laid out. Himself. He laid himself. Beside her.
   I wish this damn rain would stop.


   The morning came. The morning with its hot light through the window. Sharp. White. It came.






Return to selections from i through x