1969 by Darrel Fickbohm

Darrel Fickbohm is originally from Sioux City, Iowa. He studied theater, English literature, and philosophy in the American Midwest and the Dakotas and is committed to exploring their dramatic themes through acting, writing, and directing.

 


 

1969

 

When I was five I
Wore that yellow raincoat walking
Above the planet crawling
With questing worms
Under the rainfall–silvery drops
Making wires of continuous
Lines,
Startled by thunder
In red boots.

 

Five boys
Drowned before the rain, all
Playing on the reservoir bank.
The whole town in desperation
Searched the water,
Looked along the pitiless shoreline.

 

And they found them there
Almost together like white,
Swollen oysters.
Mothers tearfully gave the rest
Of us cookies for our living throats.
Then the sky opened up like outrage.

 

Clouds salted with the
Souls of children, blasting
With thunder the bigness of it,
Driving the searchers home.
It didn’t have to do with
Them anymore.

 

Under the pitching breeze
Of a summer storm
Coming close after the tragic heat
I peered
From below the low-brow
Slicker hat brim in a town
Gone silent
At the figure of my sister’s
Hand, puffy and pink
Between the gray mouth of
Screen door and house.

 

Water, she said,
Over and over until
It stained me forever
Drops falling from her
Splayed fingers.


Darrel can be reached via email.