• Penny Harter



Tropical storm Fay just swept up the East Coast, briefly pummeling the community where I live, about one-half hour inland from the Atlantic Ocean on winding country roads. This haibun was born from it.


Listening to Rain

I return again and again to my front door, crack it open just enough to lean out into the windswept torrents of rain from the tropical storm that is grazing my area. It isn’t forecast to cause serious damage inland, may just blow over some trash cans. Farther to the east, however, roads in the Jersey shore communities are under a flood warning.

after the deluge

digging fossil-stones from

the clay river bank

I need the sound of rain. Since I live on a busy two-lane highway, to listen to the rain I step outside and wait for a break in the steady hiss of cars, hoping to glean enough silence to spirit me back to former rain-blessed days, each a comfort in the blaze of summer.

rain has streaked

my windowpanes—so many

passing years

Sometimes rain is a lullaby. On camping trips when my children were little, I loved to tuck them in to the rhythm of rain pelting the roof of our camper, often fell asleep alongside them.

skimming the water

in the baptism font—the pastor’s

practiced hand

My late husband once spontaneously said to me,

Once one has gone, how will we

know we have loved? Raindrops

will still run together on the glass.

I listen to the rain.

© 2020 Penny Harter

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