Ruins by Peg Duthie

Ruins

It was not the rain
that crushed each car
against the others
like petals.

It was not the rain
that peeled the paper
off the walls
of my living room

though yes, the rain sped up
the bloombursts and showers
of shattering glass

and yes, it hastened
the vine-trails of cracks
across my graying ceilings.

A teacher tells me
about a clumsy scribe.
Everything—
bedsheets,
dishes,
sandals—
nothing escaped
the slap of accidents.

To calm myself
in front of blank pages,
I count the wrinkles
that must have clouded
the brow of a silent wife.

It is not the rain
that scrambles the script
between your ambition
and where it has driven you.
It’s not the rain
that has smeared my lines
into half-erased games
haunting a sidewalk.

The rain is at once
both needle and eraser—

everything an accident
waiting to be watered.

by Peg Duthie

Editor’s Note: This poem uses allegory to describe the ruins of a relationship. Storms happen. So do accidents. The imagery and narrative explain how these things can be personal.