Ken Poyner

The Rain Mistress

Woman’s Head traditional wall painting near Katni, India (© Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA)

She flicks an ash from her cigarette over her left shoulder.  It passes the breathing tattoo of a thunder cloud on her arm.  It jostles her barely concealed right breast, the one that the teenage boy at the bar has been unprofitably staring at since she mightily sat down.  “Everything is about moisture,” she says.  Outside, you can hear the dust rubbing away the will of the wooden structure, challenging brick and stone to a likely hobo dance contest.   Why, after prayer and sacrifice, do real rain makers have to be configured like this one?  Word is, she was sleeping with Tom last night, and with Tom’s widow the night before.  She gets up, kicking over the chair – not in defiance but in brazen accident – taking a last draw of her beer, tossing the cigarette still alight on the bar, sashaying with a hip tide that pulls all the blood from every man’s fingertips and sends it elsewhere.  She fills in her gamboling outline with concrete. Economically she pushes dangerously through the arid, near-shimmering door.  When it is open, we can see already the skies are gathering a questioning dark, the wind is protectively cradling its testicles.  She steps onto the porch and begins a debauched, rising moan.  We are quietly pleading:  bring rain or not; just say what you have to say, do what you have to do, then let us down gently.  A bead of sweat forms on her feathering forehead and no one believes the sentences of the near thunder, only that the thunder is hiding something.


About the writer:
After years of impersonating a Systems Engineer, Ken Poyner has retired to watch his wife continue to break national and world raw powerlifting records. His two current poetry and three short fiction collections are available from Amazon and elsewhere. Poyner‘s individual work has come out of late in Café Irreal, Analog, Rune Bear, Misery Tourism, elsewhere.

Image: Woman’s Head traditional wall painting by villagers near Katni, India. © Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA. By free license.