Wayward Umbrellas

      It was raining very hard, so
      I bought a green umbrella,
      and within two hours,
      I left it on the train.
      British Rail swallowed it
      forever. Some months later
      I bought another, lucky blue,
      to keep from melting
      altogether, but the same day
      I left it on the bus to Glasgow.
      Perhaps, I thought, I am just
      not an umbrella person.

      But Tamara thought I needed one
      in this climate, and she bought
      me a very nice chocolate brown one
      with a tasteful wooden handle. I said,
      but I just lose them, and she said,
      you'd better not lose this one.
      We left it on the train
      on the way home. I should have
      been watching you, she said glumly. I
      didn't say anything.

      Now I have a car. I thought,
      I'll get an umbrella
      and keep it in the car
      for emergencies. That way
      it won't get lost so easily.
      In every shop they remind me,
      you've forgotten your umbrella.
      Somehow it got out of the car and
      into the house. It's there
      somewhere; I remember seeing it.

      It's probably safer there -
      the last time I used it,
      the wind used it
      to tow me half a block,
      nearly running down a slow gentleman
      and two old ladies in tweeds
      and sensible shoes,
      before it turned inside out
      and let me stop and breathe.

      Isn't it lucky
      that I enjoy the rain?

Copyright © 2001 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.

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