Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Rain at Night


When I was young I knew. The rain at night, it can swallow you whole. A person goes out in the night rain at their own risk. My father went. Many a night. He was a funeral director. The phone on the wall rang. He answered, standing at the counter. He never stretched the cord. Yes, he said. Yes. Yes. Yes. He hung up, picked up the sheet on which he had written numbers, a name, the end of a story. I looked out the window into the dark. Heard the rain talk to the window. When I looked back, my father was pulling on his long coat. Settling his felt hat. His hair was so white. His keys jingled in his pocket as he walked out, slamming the back door. It shook the house, disturbed the dog. And I wondered if he would be swallowed by the rain that night. He never was. He brought back the dead. Old men. Older women. A young boy on Christmas Eve. The rain swallowed that kid’s parents whole. My father tried. But they were gone just as much as the boy. I knew it. When I was young.