Two Fridays ago, my parents took my injured mare, Bones, for her long-overdue MRI in Oklahoma. I wanted badly to go so I could care for my horse and tour the facilities at the veterinary hospital, but was unable to miss class and needed to stay home to care for the other animals. The news wasn’t particularly good: her digital flexor tendon is torn in three places. With protein injections, shockwave therapy, and at least four or five months of confinement to a 12’x12’ pen (aka hell on earth for a herd animal), she has a “fair” (~70%) chance of recovery. Oh, and it’s going to cost $3500. Yeah, I’m completely broke. Now, as I type this, she’s colicking and having some reactions to the shots and treatments she received earlier today. Lovely.
Later, last Tuesday, I took the long way home to enjoy a particularly vibrant sunset. I pulled over at my favorite bridge and peered out over the water of the swollen creek to catch the last glimpses of reflected pink clouds. I returned to my car as the sky went navy and passed the slumped form of a dead black dog by the side of the road. Pity, I thought, and that was all, until I saw its two live companions. That necessitated another stop. The big spotted one ran off terrified, but the little limping black one with the chewed up face, droopy tail, and obvious leg injuries was all too happy to be hoisted into my backseat. Now she won’t leave. Who wants a puppy?
And then the rain came. A torrential downpour that turned the parking lots into lakes; the streets into rivers; the campus grounds into marshes. My umbrella couldn’t protect me from the monsoon as I slogged through a literal three-inches of flowing water on the sidewalk (ruining my favorite shoes, I might add—a beloved pair of suede Rocketdogs, the cool kind that fasten with Velcro). The eeriest thing, however, was the presence of the earthworms. I didn’t realize what they were, at first, the tiny pink squiggles lining the pavement at regular several-inch intervals. Pale lines, floating and sinking and writhing under the rippling surface of the water. How many tens of thousands of had emerged from their soppy earthen tunnels only to drown on the sidewalk or be smashed underneath my feet? A martyrdom of annelids.
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
whistles far and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
when the world is puddle-wonderful
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
While the heavens poured down, I made a realization—nay, admission—that I hope in time will prove cathartic. Let it rain.