About the Olden Days

by Gill Learner

Tell me how water magnified the surfaces of leaves
or skittered off. How it spilled from tiles, gargled
along gutters, dropped into echoing butts.
How earth absorbed and hoarded it in lightless caves,
returned it at springs where women left offerings.

Talk about cumulus, cirrus, stratus,
and watching thunderheads approach: how light
thickened from gold to green; how water felt
slipping down cheeks to dusty lips; of cycling
in a yellow oilskin tent, head bent against the sting.

Describe brollies, wellies, puddles and the smell
of dampened soil; how you would hunt for newts,
pick meadow-sweet, try to spot sundew trapping flies.
Explain drizzle, scattered showers, cats-and-dogs.
Please, before we burn, tell me about rain.