“Morning in East Wallingford” by John Brehm

John Brehm


Morning in East Wallingford,
not to be confused with
Wallingford proper,
down the road
a few miles
here in Vermont:
a bifurcated village.
Nothing much is
We had a thunderstorm
last night and now
bullfrogs are squawking
from the pond as if
the storm had lodged
fragments of thunder
in their throats,
a wet and rubbery sound,
mildly insistent,
counterpointed by
faint birdsong
against a backdrop
of highway traffic,
cars and trucks,
the human contribution
to the soundscape.
The Luna moth
we found last night
affixed to the porch railing
is gone, swept away by
the wind probably.
A fabulous creature,
green and leaflike,
with delicate orange ferns
for antenna and a curlicue
on each wing, added
for what purpose?
A mystery.
My wife is asleep upstairs,
her mother and father
a little further down the road.
I sit here feeling content,
even as I know the world
as we know it is ending,
happiness resting
in the pit of my stomach,
a calm excitement,
my mind free of anger,
resentment, ambition, regret.
Twelve raindrops hang
from the window sash,
gathering weight.
One or two look ready
to fall, but who
knows when
that will happen.
Pearled, light-filled,
each one a condensation
of cloud called downward
by invisible forces,
just as we are,
falling but not yet fallen,
held between earth
and sky, then and now,
and now the rain begins again.

from Rattle #81, Fall 2023


John Brehm: “I write poetry for many reasons: to get beyond what I think I know, to pay attention, to experience flow states of consciousness, to delight in the music and texture of language, to connect with something larger and more mysterious than myself, to remember my true nature. But mostly I do it for the money.” (web)

Rattle Logo