Praise Poem with First Line by Derek Walcott

/ /

Praise to the rain, eraser of picnics, praise the grey cloud that falls over the hills, holds them netted and curled like giant glistening silver fish. Praise to the rain that spins the asphalt into thin lakes of oily water then lifts and loosens the pools like trivialities which are plated like haloes for hidden subterranean saints. Praise the downpour, its long legs that attempt to pass under the doorframe; praise its drumming in stereo. Praise its knocking and knocking, praise its pluck. Praise the 12th century plums of Andalusia, how they were cultivated, trembled in the rain to become 87% water. Praise their storm, their broody color, how they huddle like poets in their baskets. Praise the flesh of the sky after the rain, bloated and torn like Caravaggio’s Mary. Praise the sky. Praise Mary not in blue but red, her feet splayed and bare, her eyes two sealed letters, her mouth in death a soft, wet smile.