We choked on the smell of baking earth,
Kicked clouds of dust up with bare feet
Between the tufts of yellowing grass
Grown sparse and brittle in the heat;
My father knelt with practiced care,
Sweat beading on his furrowed brow,
And plucked tomatoes off the vine
Before they withered on their bow;
That summer saw no drop of rain
To wet our lips, nor sake our thirst–
No showers in the afternoon,
No after-dinner thunder burst.
So we hung back, on worn wood stoops,
Red-faced with sun, and Ice Pop stains,
And cooled ourselves with paper fans,
And prayed the rain would come again.