“I love the ology of clouds / and the ism of rain too”

6 August 2013
10:52 AM


It has been raining since midnight last night. I haven’t been watching the news much but it feels like a storm is coming.

Eric with the Light Brown Hair
Mary Ruefle

I have no horse! I have no horse!

cries Eric sitting on the porch
of the Twin Maples Retirement Home

and it’s a fine spring day,
I am walking to the playground
when I stop to hear this,
the most profound moment our town
has seen since the ice-cream truck
adopted a rendition of Stephen Foster’s
Oh! Susanna

the profundity of which should be apparent
to all those who linger in blissful repose
over the sad lives of great forgotten men

I have no horse! I have no horse!

Eric behaves as one does
after a beheadment

and I love the ology of it
and the ism of his cry

I love the ology of clouds

and the ism of rain too

but not as specifically as
I love Eric, who seeks his red rose
in the fume of the moment

his mouth oily and explosive,
wide open, waiting for someone
to throw a few peanuts in

God has made some pretty weird comments
in his time, about the nature of human
life and all of that, naturally
they are profound

but somehow they seem like a morbid imitation
compared to Eric’s

and even if he goes back centuries
every time he gets stewed

like the wildflowers who wither on the shore
far from our native glen

I sigh for Eric, who I unanswered,
I sigh for Eric who once had light brown hair

as I swing
floating like a vapor
on the soft-spoken air

Sometime around last year, you wrote me a letter in the notebook you sent me. You said you were in a weird kind of limbo, which is your least favourite place to be. You also mentioned that I should write to you, even if it’s a complain-y, negative letter, because those feelings have to be released somewhere.

I can’t help but smile because it seems like that’s all I do these days, with my letters. I worry, of course, that it might be getting too much, and I try to tone it down–to temper myself, that is–for many reasons. Fear, mostly. But then I go back to your letters and feel reassured, somewhat. That I have a place. That you have a place. That somewhere, someone (you) is receptive to this (me).

Thank you for bearing with me. Really. It’s a shit time, and I’m glad we have this space.



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