wet hair and dry cheeks

May 20, 2008
By Breland Brumby, Sewanee, TN

it's raining outside.
normally this wouldn't be a problem, even though it's christmas.
the type of rain is what takes me back.
more than a drizzle, but not violently storming;
it's a light shower, the type expected in the summer.
it doesn't look too cold outside either.
i want to throw on shorts and a tee shirt and run outside barefoot
and do cartwheels in the wet grass
and soak myself so thoroughly
that even the dog will run away when i shake myself dry.
except this time i will be alone.
he isn't here to chase me through the puddles,
and i can't turn around to see his smiling face
streaked with raindrops
all in hot pursuit.
i slipped on the grass
and he fell to the ground too-
rolling in the watery mud and loose grass
that clung to our bare legs and darkened denim shorts.
but none of it mattered in the afternoon shower
on that steamy georgia day
when steam billowed off the asphalt
baked all day by the vindictive summer sun;
the first relief.
he pulled me off the ground easily
and brought me into his arms like a child.
he held me there in the rain
and just stared.
then he kissed me
on the rain soaked front yard of the house i no longer live in
and he never visits.
now it's a merry christmas
with the same summer rain
only colder and less inviting.
a bitter reminder that love doesn't always weather the storm
even when rain could little once deter it.

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