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Drought

By Larry Wayne Johns / July 31, 1997



Who'd have thought I'd miss the hiss and rattle

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of sprinklers arcing water across fresh-cut grass?

A small relief each evening on my run,

I'd slow down near the black-splotched asphalt

where they slapped the street, jog in place, waiting

to get splashed. Now every lawn is scorched brown.

No one can use a hose, so my wife hauls

the watering can in and out of our house

three times each night to keep the impatiens

flowering. And the tomatoes, she tends to them

as if they're essential for survival,

yellow stars blooming to grape-sized globes.

Late August, because of her persistence,

we'll harvest them - plump and flushed

with life, reward for sacrifice. 1