After the Rain
The sky woke up clean today
scrubbed fresh and polished
to a soft blue shine and the sun
arose renewed, its burning heat
tempered into kindly warmth.
The earth, responsive, reached into
the reborn air as if to hug it back-
I saw this with my own eyes
when I glanced outside and caught
our cedar fence breathing the moisture
from its rain-soaked boards upward
into the embracing nothingness.
I called to my daughter to look,
oh look with me at this,
and when she saw she bounded
down the steps outside
to cross the yard to scale the fence
to cast her hands into the plumes
of wetness lifting dreamily.
"It's warm," she yelled to me
gleeful, amazed and when she was
inside again, "That was epic."
The sky woke up clean today;
I called to my daughter to look,
and wished as I did
that after every rain
I could be a sun renewed
for her an earth responsive.
Mothering My Adult Son
My mind swims with thoughts of bathing-not mine but his-
the daily ritual that contours my evening like the high-water mark left
as tide recedes from beach to darkening horizon.
I wade into the warm familiar waters of him,
where he sits short and fat and not a bit interested in his own self-care,
needing me to float slowly through my time with him
because he doesn’t like to rush and besides,
his sinuses are clogged of late and will need to steep
in the tub’s moist heat. He’ll lift his chubby feet for me
and maybe he’ll even lift his arms, and I’ll glide a bar of soap
all over him, my hand arcing over the rotundity of his abdomen
and zigzagging down the thick soft flesh of his back.
When he’s finished he’ll step out and after drying him,
I’ll kiss him hard on the flat bridge of his nose and he’ll look at me,
smiling, enough joy suffusing his face to last both of us another day.
Dreaming of Forest
When I receive those fundraising appeals for the starving children in Yemen
with big eyes floating above limp wasted bodies,
I like to dream of that forest where we go sometimes,
the one with wild blueberries lining the trails juicy and delicious.
I imagine them no longer hostage eating until flecks of blueberry
dot their cheeks and the color purple stains their fingertips.
When I hear on the news about the homeless vets in Washington DC
standing outside shelters hoping for mattresses without bed bugs,
I dream again of the forest with its plush beds of pale green moss,
scented with lily-of-the-valley and cedar and damp earth.
I see them in my mind, lying down, their careworn bodies relaxing
into the giving ground.
When I read about the kids in Syria encountering bodies
gunned down in the cold blood-spattered streets,
I dream of the forest in noonday sun as dappled light plays over its floor
and a breeze rustles its branches gently.
I watch them as if in a movie running gleefully from trunk to trunk
laughing and calling each other's names.
And even when I myself, in my insignificant world, am so used up
that my thoughts spin like tops in the middle of the night when I want to sleep,
I dream of the forest in the still of darkness
when moonlight casts softly shifting leaves into its shadowy glow.
I look on as I sink to my knees and fling my arms upon the earth,
the tears of my pent-up sadness falling freely into fertile soil.
About Marya Parral
Marya Small Parral is a poet with two principal themes: the experience she has had within her family as a wife and mother, and the great beauty-though tinged with sadness-of the wider world around her. She maintains her perspective on the beauty of the world with stubbornness, for she believes firmly that perspective creates reality. Can it not be the poet’s role to create a beautiful reality? Indeed she insists that it can. She lives in Ocean City, NJ where sometimes, at night when all is quiet, she can hear the ocean’s gentle roar. She has been published in Poetry Quarterly, the Sandy River Review, and Friends Journal.