Rain in the Green Mountains

            after Octavio Paz

Listen to me as one listens to the rain
hitting the leaves silently
while crows caw somewhere
in the glistening maple canopy

and wild strawberries ripen
each day. Is that what the bear
searched for last night? I didn’t
see it in the darkness, but heard

it crashing through bushes. Listen to me
as one listens to the rain
falling in sheets against lightning
and the dark sky. The woods are hidden
and everything is silent now except

the storm. The cows kneel
their shaggy red coats until dawn. Paths
have filled with rivulets. I stand
by the window and hear

you light a fire. Rivers
swell to overflowing, ponds
appear in ditches, thorny blackberry
brambles invade gardens, this week

we spend in the mountains, content
to walk along ferns and horsetail
to the small stone chapel where
we pull the rope to ring the bell
announcing our presence like

that of the bear, like the raindrops
that bounce off the wooden
steps, slide down birch leaves, tickle
the lime-green edges of the larch.

Susan Ayres holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Sycamore Review, Cimarron Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She teaches in Texas.

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