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Ken Slone
Winter Rain in Mountains

Our mountain stream is raging today
After a two-day downpour
That dropped feet of snow on DC, Pennsylvania, and Jersey.
Last spring we laid down a new metal roof
That sings to us in rain.

Oh, our outside cats hate the rain.
We know by the way they behave
When rain is approaching
And by the way they huddle along the door crack
For a little warmth for drying.

That Crosby, Stills, and Nash song about everything
Being easier now that there are two cats in the yard
Must be the reason we make them stay outdoors.
Their disdain for rain
Seems only to make our winters wetter,

For they have no power with the Gods.
Their only influence is on us, their feeders.
A moss covered rock on the stream bank
Is as wet as the rocks inside the stream itself,
Who are wet as ice cubes.

Rocks do not speak to me as do the trees,
But if this one did, I believe it would be in accord with our cats
On the subject of rain.
After seeing water drip onto a rock for a two-day span,
I can’t help feeling sorry for the rock, and I tell it so.

Our singing roof must be the only hard surface
Happy about the torrent.
I believe in spite of its moss coat 
My rock capable of being concussed
By the unceasing heaviness of rain drops.

Professor of English Ken Slone received the Great Teacher Award in 1999 for teaching his students to take pride in their Appalachian heritage and to write from their hearts. His book of poetry, At Home in the Mountains, was published in 2001. His book, Mountain Teacher – An Eastern Kentucky Teacher Tells His Story was published in 2005. After earning his graduate degree from Xavier University, Ken returned to his home county of Johnson. He is retired from Big Sandy Community & Technical College after a 36-year teaching career. He does freelance writing for SLS Consulting, Pasadena, CA, and he and his wife Debbie spend winter months on the beach at North Myrtle Beach, SC.

 

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