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This rain,
which falls so lovingly,
not too hard, not too soft,
on leaves and grass
and on itself in puddles,
should fall on my beloved sister,
whose dry forests
are in flame.

Can you do this, wind?
Droplets, fly west!

My brother,
whose house of wattle
whose trailer
whose car whose cattle

whose mother
all were carried off by wind and water,
from the top of the terp.

Pray for us, he says.
There is nothing left, he says.
We may as well be dead.

Our father, who had yet to mourn,
weeps openly now,
and speaks
of how he never meant for any of this to happen.

“Fire and Rain” first appeared in John Terpstra’s collection Call Me Home published by Gaspereau Press, Kentville, Nova Scotia, 2021

Photo by Valentin Müller on Unsplash

John Terpstra

John Terpstra has published ten slim volumes of poetry, the most recent being Call Me Home (Gaspereau Press, 2021), as well as five works of creative non-fiction, including The Boys, or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter, and two books of prayers, Wild Hope and In the Company of All (St. Thomas Poetry Series). One of his poems, called "Giants," is emblazoned on a plaque that stands on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment overlooking downtown Hamilton, Ontario, where he lives and works as a cabinetmaker.