Too little rain parches the garden,
destroys the crops, drives up
the cost of food, and creates
starvation. Wildlife die of thirst,
forests go up in flames.
Too much rain rots the garden,
decimates the crops, drives up
the cost of food, and causes hunger.
Wildlife and people drown,
houses and roads are destroyed,
the will to live goes up in flames.
Tears are like rain. Too few clog
the heart, prevent growth, and create
starvation of the soul. Emotions die
of suffocation, motivation is smothered by fear.
Too many tears cause a kind of blindness.
The beauty and the possibilities in front
of us are obscured by saltwater that burns
the eyes, and our breath is blocked
by a strangling globus sensation.
Courage is destroyed, hope goes up in flames.
Tears are overrated. The line between
cleansing and drowning is frightfully thin.
We can learn to drain the toxins
that enter our thoughts, our hopes,
our dreams. But once the flood begins,
there is no levee strong enough
to save our loss of self-possession,
no government compassionate enough
to preserve our flimsy shelter of belief.
Diane Elayne Dees’s poetry has been published in many journals and anthologies. Diane, who lives in Covington, Louisiana, also publishes Women Who Serve, a blog that delivers news and commentary on women’s professional tennis throughout the world. Her chapbook, I Can’t Recall Exactly When I Died, is forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing House. Also forthcoming (Kelsay Books) is Diane’s chapbook, Coronary Truth.