Gwendolyn Soper


The flower is made of non-flower elements.
We can describe the flower as being full of everything. 
There is nothing that is not present in the flower. 
-Thich Nhat Hanh

The governor asked us 
to pray up a storm.
A local told my husband 
tree rings show
it’s the worst drought 
in five-hundred years.

That the rains may come

in a gentle manner 
beneficial to our valley, 
Brother J. Watson prayed 
from the pulpit.

Our stream is dry.
The alpacas are licking the mud 
so my husband is off
to buy a huge stock tank at IFA.

There’s not water to grow enough 
alfalfa in the pasture
for our neighbor’s cows. It’s real bad. 
I’ll have to order extra bales
from Idaho, he said.

I look at the milkweed 
wilting in simmering shade— 
a few caterpillars escape
the gaze of hungry wasps

and I wonder out loud
where has all the water gone
if every flower contains a cloud?