POETRY

Like an Old Friend Whom You Had Given Up for Dead Rain Returns to Oakland

Oakland's Tennessee Reed is the author of six books of poetry.
Oakland's Tennessee Reed is the author of six books of poetry.
Tennessee Reed is the author of six books of poetry, including City Beautiful, Airborne, and Electric Chocolate.

The sun rises over the Oakland hills
The sky is hues of pink, yellow,
orange, gold, and blue
Scattered clouds linger from storms
The Blues Note Bird sings his song
“C, C, A-flat”
His voice stands out
amongst the other chirping birds
Crows call from telephone wires
and from trees on the adjacent street
Canadian geese honk
as they fly over the house
towards Lake Merritt
People honk their horns as if to answer

Neighbors rush out of their houses
for work and school
They climb into cars and on buses
and squeeze onto BART
The noises of cars, buses, and BART
on Market Street and MLK
can be heard from my bedroom window
Garbage trucks shake the house each Thursday
before the sun comes up

The neighbors’ Border Collie-Australian Shepherd mix barks
as the dog walker picks her up
Fat calico cats and black cats
guard leftover Halloween pumpkins
on the porch of the duplex across the street
GQ the tuxedo cat and Frances the tabby cat
show up for their photography sessions
in their favorite spot on the stone steps
underneath the apple tree

The wind howls, whistles, and shakes windows,
the oak trees dance,
and chimes jingle
as the next rainstorm approaches
Due to the winds
unlike their usual flight pattern
planes fly over the house
as they come in from the northeast
They fly southwest and then turn west
to land at SFO

Plants perk up
welcoming the rain
The northern mockingbird
takes a bath shaking his feathers
in the bare ginkgo tree
The brown world becomes green again

Tennessee Reed is the author of six books of poetry, including City Beautiful, Airborne, and Electric Chocolate.