The yoreh skips
across the parched garden,
muddies the porch with its weightless patter
as if it is raining only here
and we are the lone spectators,
though that can’t be true.
This is the season I told you about,
when the Land revives after its long slumber
and is made soft with showers.
We stand in the misted afternoon,
you in your new ruby rain boots
hopping from foot to foot
in a sudden reverie,
a cinnamon crested hoopoe
tapping its curved bill in the dirt.
How powerless I am to hold this moment,
or prepare you for the deluge to come,
the anguished winter winds
that will take you from me.
We hold hands and jump in the drizzle,
your boots stamping down
in redemptive beats,
a kind of prayer
to the rain, the season,
to God, to the bird,
that slight dark beak
plumbing the earth for sustenance.
Yoreh is the Hebrew word for the first rain to fall in Israel’s rainy season.