Function of Water

By NATHANIEL PERRY
On rainy days the place seems smaller,
acres still ringed and shrouded by trees,
but the sky is closer, like something landing.
I know you’d like to ask me—please

can we go inside, it’s cold, I’m cold,
the baby’s cold—but you know I won’t
let you go inside yet. The boy is shrieking
as if the colors behind and in front
of his new eyes are all too much
to take in at once, too much joy
at once, I mean. But I called you out
here for this early rain. The boy
can see what he needs to. I need you here,
beside me, to see this place filled
by something that is not us, our every
acre ringed and shrouded and still.

 

Nathaniel Perry is the author of Nine Acres (APR/Copper Canyon, 2011), and his recent work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Upstreet, Orion, and elsewhere. He is the editor of the Hampden Sydney Poetry and lives in rural southside Virginia.

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Function of Water

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