By Julie Shavin

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“Western wind, when will thou blow

The small rain down can rain?
Christ! If my love were in my arms,
And I in my bed again.”

– Anonymous

Beyond the lamp-lit room is a plangent rain
rescuing trees from their near-drought dyings
and I ponder the thousands of nights
of our separate sibilant lyings.

The western wind that now does blow
that down this rain may rain
blows not for us or too much so
shuttling shuttered pain.

Through colorful rooms we pass and greet
snug from the night’s down-pouring
twined in un-twinned dreams
anchored in our unmoorings.

The thirsty grass and withered stalks
exalt the liquid ambrosia
while in dry and sighing rooms
we unmake our beds of roses.

Yet the steady mizzle is a stalwart hand
its rhythm a reminder
of the numbered thrum of dusks and dawns
which each of us is tendered

and, easing a bit speaks in treacle tones
as fissures mind their mending —
of hopes like rivers, and down river beds,
of the ends of beginnings of endings.

Julie Shavin

Author’s Note:

“Ambrosia” is about a troubled marriage, and one of very few poems in which I
use rhyme. Each room in the house is a different color, and in the poem is meant
to contrast with the grey/black state of the marriage. There is a parallel
(unspoken) between the drought in the marriage and living in a  chronically
drought-ridden geographical setting in which it rains (very rarely) July to
September, but that’s all. The turn, of course, begins with the word “Yet,” in
which the poet reminds herself that life is short, and that perhaps there is
hope, that every ending may (or may not) imply a beginning.