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New Poetry, by Matt Shaw

Untitled 4 (rain in Buffalo)


In Buffalo they have summer storms,

And even as a boy I would listen

To dark rain that lashes the panes of the sunroom,

Summer rain so warm you could swim in it,

And thunder like a belly laugh.

The home of my childhood rests at the end

Of a lonely drive and beside old pines,

The trees stark monoliths, pillars of stone.

Opaque as the rain, the woods fascinate

The same way the storm did —

Though I would never enter alone.

On no-rain days we would find other ways

To douse ourselves: water balloons,

The garden hose, from which we would run

Laughing and screaming, half naked;

Then a course towel to dry.

And nights spent searching for stars or fireflies,

Now for a sign, lips pursed, arms crossed;

The house I used to visit, sold along with the acres

Grandparents sought to protect,

Swallowed whole, gone.


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