By A. E. Stallings b. 1968
The rain is haunted;
I had forgotten.
My children are two hours abed
And yet I rise
Hearing behind the typing of the rain,

Its abacus and digits,
A voice calling me again,
Softer, clearer.
The kids lie buried under duvets, sound
Asleep. It isn’t them I hear, it’s

Something formless that fidgets
Beyond the window’s benighted mirror,
Where a negative develops, where reflection
Holds up a glass of spirits.
White noise

Rain is a kind of recollection.
Much has been shed,
Hissing indignantly into the ground.
It is the listening

Haunted by these fingertaps and sighs
Behind the beaded-curtain glistening,
As though by choices that we didn’t make and never wanted,
As though by the dead and misbegotten.

Source: Poetry (February 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2014
 A. E. Stallings


A. E. (Alicia) Stallings studied classics in Athens, Georgia and has lived since 1999 in Athens, Greece. She has published three books of poetry, Archaic Smile (1999), which won the Richard Wilbur Award; Hapax (2000); and Olives (2012). Her new verse translation of Lucretius (in rhyming fourteeners!), The Nature of Things, is published by Penguin Classics. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Parenthood, Nature, Weather

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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