Poem: This is What Drought Does

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This is What Drought Does

This is what drought does.
Across the way, throughout the quarry,
autumn color has come in July,
a dearth of water taking its toll, a slow kill,
a premature death of leaves meant to be
in the full green of summer.

This is what drought does.
Kills faster than starvation,
faster than time and God’s plan,
weakens each limb to the bone
and leaves a shell, an easy victim
for winter to pick off.

This is what drought does.
It makes corpses of the strong,
and leaves the survivors gasping, stumbling,
not yet dead,
but failing, languishing,
robbed of fullness,
made artificially weak,
and left to fail in a splash of color
barely noticed.

This is what drought does.

About this poem. 

It has been painfully dry here in Southwestern Vermont. In the quarry across the street from my house, a few trees have already begun turning from green to bright yellow. In July.

A poem about drought. A poem about people starved of love and grace. Because I never seem to be able to write of one thing at a time.

Tom

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