Flash Flood

Joseph Heithaus


Imagine yourself in words

thick as a downpour in early June

with you soaked to the bone,

wet with wonder, watching the roads

become, for a moment, rivers,

streams, mothers of gray light

and green leaves bearing the dirt

of spring away.  You become a short verse

of rhymes slant as sunbeams

that cut through the deluge,

and make a little cage

of syllables and light.  Your dreams

hide in this space just above the flood

of rain and language and mud. 



Joseph Heithaus is chair of the English Department at DePauw University.  He recently co-wrote  Rivers, Rails, and Runways (San Francisco Bay Press, 2008) with the so-called "Air Poets," Indiana poets who have had the great fortune to have their poems etched into the glass murals of artist Martin Donlin at the new Indianapolis International Airport.  Joe's poems have appeared in a number of journals including New York Quarterly, The Southern Review, and Poetry.