Ain't Gonna Rain No More

August 13, 2008
By Justin Rose, Corvallis, OR

How much time has passed, I wonder
Since I first stood at these gates of pearl?
How many listless, drifting souls
Have I shown the way?

Alas, I know not, for they are many
And one’s memory slips with age
I remember the chosen few, it seems.
Like this one, gentle sage.

He had a baseball cap atop his head
And a knowing twinkle in eye
I asked of him, “Are you well?”
A firm handshake was his reply.

“How you doing?” he asked me warmly
As a smile lit up his face
In that grin, and I do swear,
There was no guile, not a trace.

I know such words are formality
But I told him I was well
His smile grew and he did say,
“Isn’t that just swell?”

His hair was thinning, his face was creased,
Yet still his youth did live
Through his eyes and through his heart
And the love he had to give.

He asked of me, “What happens now?
“Where do I go from here?”
“You live and love,” my answer was,
“You have no more to fear.”

He laughed at this, I asked him why,
He said that I was blind,
If I could not see how much he troubled
For those he left behind,

“Worry not,” I said to him,
“For they will find the way
That comes to those who remember well
What you once had to say

You were a kind and gentle man
A good father, a good son
Perhaps you should remember that
Your work is not yet done.

You shared your wisdom, you told your tales,
And they will be passed on
Perhaps, one day, your own grandson
Will tell his where you have gone,

To a better place, one free of the sickness
That snatched your memories away
But did it take your family’s? No!
Much to its dismay.

So you live on, inside of people
Your children, your brothers, your wife.
You gave so much to all of them
So now they live your life.

They take your wisdom to heart each day
Although they might not know
How truly large your footsteps were
And how far yet they have to grow

So cast aside your worries, sir
For they are not a wise endeavor
As long as someone remembers you
Then you shall live forever.”

He looked at me and smiled wide
And thanked me for my time
He turned to leave, to enter those gates
Beyond glorious bells did chime

Yet still I had a question,
So I caught him by the hand
“Will you be alright, good sir,
Now that you understand?”

The man looked back thoughtfully and said to me,
“I might not have before
But it ain’t gonna rain no more no more
It ain’t gonna rain no more.”

The author's comments:
This is a piece that I wrote for and read at my Grandfather's funeral. He died at the age of 91 after five years of battling Alzhiemer's Disease.

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This article has 2 comments.

Impressed said...
on Aug. 31 2008 at 2:17 pm
Wow that was a really phenomenal poem, you're truly gifted.

MELLOW said...
on Aug. 25 2008 at 5:24 pm
two words: amazing piece.

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