April 15, 2013
The Waterman’s Tale

I invest my money in water futures. For the time when we roof our homes with rain vats and hire 10-year olds to rattle aluminum scarecrows and shoo grackles with slingshots. I cache bottled water in the cellar for the dust years when piss will be bullion. When every kiss will be parched. When we suffer our sorrow without tears. In the evening, I tinker in the garage, playing Dr. Frankenstein to a robot with a knack for herding rain. Soon the mailman will deliver the Hydromancy Society’s monographs on the science of dowsing. My neighbors busy themselves sprinkling peonies and topping off bird feeder tubes with hummingbird nectar. The children carry Super Soakers to drench me as I record the extinction rate for cumulonimbus. Waiters spill ice water on my entrée, laughing at “Professor Drought.” Even the mayor chuckles when I unfold maps with red clouds of expanding desert. Everyone pantomimes rain dances. But the udometer has been empty all summer. I’ve quit shaving and bathing. While others sleep, I walk through the dry night with a pebble under my tongue.

 

—Michael Brockley    (Delaware County)

Michael Brockley is a 63-year old school psychologist who has worked in special education in rural northeast Indiana for 25 years. His poems have appeared in Wind, Windless Orchard, Spitball, Indiana Review, Indiannual, Spoon River Quarterly, River City Review and Ball State Literary Forum. His poem “When the Woman in the White Sweater at the Cancelled Charles Simic Reading Asked If I Was David Shumate” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Barry Harris of the Tipton Poetry Journal.

Indiana Humanities is posting a poem a day from Indiana poets in celebration of National Poetry Month.

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