Tires on wet pavement whooshing, wavelike, by. Raindrops, in their staccato rhythm, tapping Blurred windows. Morning barely half awake. A recently arriving rainy day, When a small girl— Still, green-blue eyes and almost yellow hair, Warm in her raincoat, backpack on her back, Riding the bus to school—watches the rain, Watches black puddles, splashed by headlights, shine, Watches how earth and sky touch gently, how The sky seeps into houses, trees, rainwater, Becoming silently a part of them, How the gray sky matches her mother’s scarf— The soft silk scarf that, in the slightest breeze, Breathes out spring scents, spring scents she’s breathing in Unconsciously from her recurring dream, Her deep-as-memory, unrequited dream, Of being tenderly enfolded by Her mother’s arms—the scarf her mother calls Dove gray. Dove gray— She likes the words, the way they sound. She says them, Keeps saying them over to herself, just as People she sees in church will often pray, Eyes closed, lips faintly moving. At a corner, The bus jerks to a stop. There, in the rain Now letting up, in the now spreading light, A grayish-white bird standing on someone’s grass. She notices, then shuts her eyes again And starts to cry. She’s crying, because her teacher has been asking— Because she’s never told a soul (and couldn’t) About her mother’s early morning rages, Slaps setting bright red fire to her face— Mostly because the rainy day is leaving And she’d give anything to make it stay.