When the Rains Came Down
The first shower usually stutters, is uncertain. This time
it unbuckled its load. The skies are clear this morning.
I can see Jenin to the east, and the monastery
on Mount Tabor. The rains have tamed the place
softened my olive tree that was dusty and aging,
polished begonias and added height to radishes
planted from seed.
I count cyclamens forcing through, ferns
stretching in the shade. The garden seems bigger now.
Scorched patches have come alive.
Lavender, just planted, trembles. Oregano
is in the air today, and mint. Olives spin
from the tree,
black and ripe.
I want you to know about this morning.
For months the earth has twisted
from the sun. The crust opens now,
trusts again, accepts.
This I would tell you also:
The rain’s intrusion heals,
can bring dry bones back.
Rochelle Mass was born in Winnipeg, Canada, grew up in Vancouver,
Canada and moved with her husband and daughters to Kibbutz Beit HaShita, in the
Jezreel Valley of Israel in 1973. Today they live in a small community on the
western flank of the Gilboa mountains where they cure and press their olives and
harvest lemons and figs. Ms. Mass works as a translator and editor. Ms. Mass’ most
recent poetry collection is The Startled Land, Wind River Press, 2003. Her work has
been nominated for the Pushcart prize, shortlisted by the B.B.C. for Middle East Stories
and shortlisted again by the BBC for a Radio Play. She won first and second prize in
the Reuben Rose Poetry Competition. She has been widely published and we
are grateful to have her among our contributors.