mary ruefle





Late that night it rained so hard the world

seemed flattened for good.

But the grocer knew the earth had a big gut

and could hold more than enough.

When he went out to receive a shipment of cat food

the stays of his umbrella were bent.

It took some time to fix them and when he got to his shop

the truck had already left.

On a whim he went inside and brought home

a bottle of wine for his wife.

Have you gone crazy? she said. They didn’t uncork it,

but he felt something nonetheless.

That wonderful click his umbrella had made

when it finally opened for good!