But the day seemed ordinary. I found nothing to surprise or startle me in the wet roses or the shrubbery sagging with the extra weight of water. There was nothing special in the gray clouds, nor is there in the cerulean sky that is now mostly clear. It's a commonplace night that is falling, just cold enough to keep me indoors but not cold enough to be especially interesting. I guess that's good for the frogs, who remain silent in this chill. It will warm up again in a few days and then nightfall will bring their chorus once again, celebrating the freshening of their streams and ponds. I look forward to hearing it. Tonight there is only a bit of residual dripping from the downspout fed by the clogged rain gutter. I might as well just listen to myself think.
A Man May Change
by Marvin Bell
As simply as a self-effacing bar of soap
escaping by indiscernible degrees in the wash water
is how a man may change
and still hour by hour continue in his job.
There in the mirror he appears to be on fire
but here at the office he is dust.
So long as there remains a little moisture in the stains,
he stands easily on the pavement
and moves fluidly through the corridors. If only one
cloud can be seen, it is enough to know of others,
and life stands on the brink. It rains
or it doesn't rain, or it rains and it rains again.
But let it go on raining for forty days and nights
or let the sun bake the ground for as long,
and it isn't life, just life, anymore, it's living.
In the meantime, in the regular weather of ordinary days,
it sometimes happens that a man has changed
so slowly that he slips away
before anyone notices
and lives and dies before anyone can find out.