Thoreau in the Rain

by David Wagoner

David Wagoner

He liked bad weather best. He would keep walking
when others hurried home, then he would be
the only one on a road or a pathway
or trespassing through an orchard, lifting his boots
and putting them down among the windfall apples.

Rain beat on his cape. He felt it urging him
to deepen like a bush or a wildflower,
to change his shape, to smooth away his crotchets
and quirks, and as he walked through cloudbursts
or almost balmy feathers of mist when the wind
would sigh and sweep its long curtains and scarves
and pleated skirts and antimacassars and tassels
across his home away from home, he would sit
content, absorbed, on his favorite furniture,
all morning long, on a stump like a toadstool.

Last updated August 21, 2022