Prayer for Rain

damaged tree in forest
Frank, sitting next to me at Starbucks
says he’s hard to kill.
Lived in Alaska for jobs, retired Tillamook
has kids, for sure, he has plenty
unclear what the eldest is up to
but the middle one comes by
and he, Frank, means no harm but look
uncovers the tube that binds him to
another deep in his collared shirt.
For sure he knows near everyone
around here, watches them circle
the interior of Fred Meyers
roughly a third, quarter of a mile
if you walk every department. He’s had some wives
left one, two and three departed, now on his fourth.
I say to Frank, yeah as for me I am sleep walking
through the first day of the secular new year
in moss-thronged trees and leaves mesh with dew.
Winter felled a fir older than you
sheer luck it fell away from the house
its massive trunk faced, if it is allowed a face, Frank,
to the long-lived stars, briefest mist in the hollows.
I saw, in our decaf, the plea for rain
we ask on behalf of the god of our ancestors,
on both sides of the terrible music in this Starbucks,
a request to the old god that no god is old
that we not lack but have plenty and we are full
tubes we show strangers from our chest and its lull.
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