Thomas read this poem at the opening reception of our 3rd annual Art of Recovery: The Human Journey show. He gave us permission to share it with you here. There’s still time to view the show through November 30, 2009, at the Inside Out Gallery in Traverse City.
Providence falls like rain upon those of us that don’t carry umbrellas…
We shelter ourselves from the present in memory and expectation;
shed aside what falls our way out of fear, or for the sake of control.
People carry their tailored umbrellas,
from the silver tops of the self-righteous successful
to the ragged shields of addiction, anger and loneliness
held by those of us in the ranks of poverty.
From the pretentiously happy to the shamelessly miserable,
our handheld rooftops give us what protection they may
from what a thundering sky may bring…the rain comes when it does.
That’s the truth.
I’ve always had a close eye on it, of course.
I remember keeping everything protected from it everyday.
These days are different.
Coming out from under cover seems to mean letting go
of justifications, the kind crafted from righteous misery,
the kind that cling beneath the skin…
It takes a special kind of rain to wash that away,
the kind that brings admission and submission to it.
Walking through the woods on the tracks under the summer thunder
I have no cover and I’m laughing for no reason at all…
I guess a little summer rain can’t hurt me these days.
Lately it seems that I’ve found all that I need
and more than I’ve expected.
This is my town after all and the tracks are the quickest way in.
A light rain busts loose as I come out at the opening near total sheet metal
and the treatment plant…
but really I think I’m crossing the line
between being homeless and living in the world.