My Aching Back – Robert Knox

Bees dart between the streams of spray —

They don’t like my rain delays


Bare-stemmed, burned out by the long dry spell

The plants wait patiently for rain


I bend to the task, patience my name

Bearing the heavy pail through twisty garden paths

Aquarius with a sore-point shoulder


A summer day too late for the name

I cheat with the sprinkler

The weary tomatoes rejoice,

flapping their yellow palms and withered phalanges in the spray


A time-worn rain machine

I sit on the borders of my storm

My fountain arcing to the blue


Patter of little foot-drops tom-toming across the hard paths,

stone slices louder than the parched and particled soil


In dreams I chastise my civilized oppressors

begging them at last to step out of doors

and lift their faces to the sky

to drink of the balm that must some day come

Robert Knox is freelance writer for the Boston Globe and a creative writer. He covers the arts for the Globe’s ‘South’ regional sections and also writes about environmental, land use and real estate issues. His short stories, poems, book reviews and creative nonfiction have appeared in numerous literary publications.




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