Rain in the Orchard
Qaab, in her real life, fancies wearing burlap gowns, naked feet, and smudges of earth on her cheeks. She likes to keep garden dirt under her fingernails for an hour or two after weeding. If there weren't so many mosquitoes around in the middle of the night, she'd sleep in the tattered hammock on her porch.
After her evening shower, which is performed sitting upon a shower bench to save her from toppling over onto her head for one reason or another, she always dresses in soft white cloth and proceeds out into the peach orchard with an ice-cold tumbler of boiled lemonade. Her father, even though he passed to the other side some time ago, sits there beside her for a while, every summer night.
Her tan skin emits an amber aura, in stark contrast with the blue-grey twilight, and it casts a glow like powdered gold onto her father's pale face. They sit quietly. Breathing in. Breathing out. Sipping the sweet lemonade. Sniffing the mint leaves on top.
They hear a distant thunderstorm and soon some gentle rain begins to fall. Qaab turns her face toward the clouds and lets the raindrops wet her lips. Her father slips a wide straw hat onto his head and talks to the sky.
"Qaabie knows what it means when it rains," he says rather proudly, while Daughter Qaab mentally traces the exquisite path of each raindrop and every tear meandering down her face. ~ © Shirley A. Lake 2006
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This piece of writing is a Parture
, a spanking new poetic "form." My poet-friend, Susan Cavenaugh (Northfield, NJ), came up with this word, parture
as the name for a piece of writing that is (1) poetic, but not a poem; (2) prose, but not exactly a prose poem; (3) “beautiful writing,” but not belles lettres
. Susan determined this “form” could be called “Parture” because it is a departure from those forms just named.
“Rain in the Orchard” is my first effort in Susan’s “Parture” form.