You Can’t Outrun Squally Rain
Outside a fisherman ties his dingy to the dock. He runs for shelter below a lean-to sheet of plastic, as if a person can outrun squally rain. Nothing compares, being chased by a tropical squall.
I’ve sheltered in a cafe with plastic chairs and tables. I glance up at the waitress who sets a sweating bottle of water on the table. She asks if I’m ready to order. Salt and pepper prawns, and a vegetable. M’ goi, I say.
The rain beats against the awning and pours on to the wooden dock below. The fisherman waits. No rush – this is Lana Island. No one hurries here. Time keeps itself to itself in China. This is an ancient place, and its people know that they can wait out anything.
When I was young, and my soul was still half empty, I let the world fill me. The world was my theatre. Wherever I went, whatever I saw, left a bit of itself in me. And I left a bit of myself behind, too. A kindness for kindness. Memories for memories. Like rain, it always levels itself.
Like the heat of Singapore when I walked across the old iron bridge. Dazed, I thought I heard footfall behind me. A curse, that equatorial heat. It scorched my neck, my arms. No fan could cool me, no cold drink resolved my thirst. The rain was warm as tepid tea.
I once stood at the base of a glacier. Listened to its white ancient mass groan and snap, it shattered the air with a landslide. I remember my feet begging me to run – but my legs refused. I learnt what it meant to freeze.
I suppose I left my unwilling legs at that glacier. Left that flesh-scorching sting in Singapore.
The rain poured down for another few hours. It kept the fisherman sat under the plastic tarpaulin, his legs tucked and folded beneath him, and I continued to peel shrimp and suck the sauce off the shells that piled up high and statuesque on the plate.
And whenever it buckets down rain on a hot summer day, I remember that fisherman, those prawns, and glacial cold water in a tall glass.
Written for Bloganuary: About Rain. AI Digital Art is mine and created using Midjourney’s bot (v4). Image and poem ©Misky 2023 Shared on Twitter #amwriting
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