There must be a tin roof.
No other medium will do
To amplify and let through
The varied soft sounds of the night.
It is the best weather to listen to music –
Under this canopy of rain –
A Beethoven quartet, Glenn Miller, or Coltrane,
Or identify the figures in a book.
As a boy, my father used to lie
In the front seat of his own father’s car
Under such a rain-drenched roof and let
The gentle cataclysm play above –
The rhythmic thud competing with the radio,
Giving ample proof to the night
That the stars had lost their way.
Such happens today, to us.
But it is all right.
The rain is a worthy substitute for moon and stars,
Presaging cooler days to come
And scrubbing the sky clean of clouds.
Randall Ivey’s work has appeared in a number of venues in the US and UK. He is the author of three story collections, three novels, and a book for children. He teaches English at the University of South Carolina in Union.