The rain was soft the soil was warm
that summer of long skirts in batiked peony
fringed and wrapped round easy hips, and shifts
of sherbet yellow, mirror sprinkled all the way from India.
The rain was soft and sweet the soil was warm and rich
when we went barefoot and patchouli oiled
to gather rain spoiled roses and the flimsied heads
of everlasting flowers, silver membranes from thin honesty.
The rain was soft and sweet and fine, the soil was warm and rich and dark
when broom pods split and rattled out their seeds
between our tattooed toes, and rowan leaves caught
in our crowns of coiled and braided hair.
The rain was soft the soil was warm, that summer of long skirts.
by Susan Utting