A Short Story of Falling

It is the story of the falling rain

to turn into a leaf and fall again


it is the secret of a summer shower

to steal the light and hide it in a flower


and every flower a tiny tributary

that from the ground flows green and momentary


is one of water’s wishes and this tale

hangs in a seed-head smaller than my thumbnail


if only I a passerby could pass

as clear as water through a plume of grass


to find the sunlight hidden at the tip

turning to seed a kind of lifting rain drip


then I might know like water how to balance

the weight of hope against the light of patience


water which is so raw so earthy-strong

and lurks in cast-iron tanks and leaks along


drawn under gravity towards my tongue

to cool and fill the pipe-work of this song 


which is the story of the falling rain

that rises to the light and falls again

Bibliographical info

Alice Oswald, “A Short Story of Falling,” from Falling Awake. Copyright © 2016 by Alice Oswald. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: Falling Awake (Jonathan Cape/W. W. Norton & Company, 2016)

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