In a cabin on a creek
alone which is so
as strange as the sound of rain on the roof
in this drought.
Even the sound of thunder
and not just the teasing of the air with electric shivers
we’ve known as of late
but real thunder so loud you remember that poem and the line
what the thunder said
as you stand in the doorway watching water drip from pine trees.
before the rain fell,
when the air was still
and thick with promise
you found the dusty puzzle box
and the soft tussling sound you heard
as you lifted it
brought your father’s face before you.
Or not his face so much but him,
and the way he tapped the
bright, snug cardboard pieces
when he found the one,
that one piece that fit just so
and made a bit more sense
of the farm scene
or the seascape,
or the raccoon faces peeping at you between fall leaves.
And the way you felt when you
were permitted to sit there
right next to him
working with him
to find that one piece
you know the one
the one that’s shaped like this
“Like this right here,” and we would
bend our heads together to find that one piece.
That one piece that would solve the puzzle.
But the puzzle is always too
big. It is too
you are certain some of the pieces
The thunder stops and the rain, too.
But you stay inside because
you like to pretend
that the water still pours down on you and
the drought is over and
your father sits next to you
with his clean-shaven cheeks.