Here where the rain falls

Michael Banks
3 min readSep 21, 2021

Twelve messy thoughts create one lovely idea.

Drops of rain hang on the tea olive on a wet Tuesday morning in the Carolinas. (Photo by Michael Banks)

The rain falls here down near where the South Fork and Catawba meet.

The branches of the tea olive outside my window hang heavy with water, lime green offshoots reach up, seeking sunlight, but instead it’s a cloud-filled sky. Tiny yellow clusters of bloom emit the sweet scent, but my window stays closed and I fear more rain.

I think of my great aunt Catherine, she gone nearly 15 years now, and how she’d tug my ear and say, “Michael B. You’re gonna do great things.”

But this morning, my mind remains muddied of the dream that lingers from the night before — me going from room to room, opening doors, only to find four blank walls and empty spaces. The only sound being that of the click of the latch and slam of the door. A constant opening and closing. Click, slam. Click, slam.

I sip the cold water from the glass and wait for the coolness to make its way down my throat and spread across my chest. I hope it brings energy. A spark to beat back my malaise. The bed, the warm covers, they beckon.

Gloom, gloom, gloom.

The Rolling Stones sing of “Wild Horses” and how “faith has been broken, tears must be cried, let’s do some living, after we die.”

I’ve done some living and never really thought of others. Things I should have said, but didn’t. Thought my silence an easy salve, not realizing the pain left behind.

It is still Tuesday morn here and the rain still falls.

Each day another red X on the calendar and another day closer to when breath will come no more.

Until then, these words will be written and songs will be sung. Her smile and laugh and love as constant as the reappearing sun.

NOTE: The above work came from a writing prompt presented during a recent Pen to Paper Live session hosted by the Charlotte Lit organization. You can register here. In the session, presenter Kathie Collins offered a writing prompt taken from a recent workshop led by poet Ada Limon. Prompt created by Ada Limón

The Messy Now

1. Describe where you are.

2. Add something you see.

3. Mention a friend and something that friend says.

4. Include a dream.

5. Add something from the natural world.

6. Say something you need.

7. Repeat a word or a line three times.

8. Add a line of a song you love.

9. Apologize for something.

10. Give the date or the day.

11. Tell us something you’re scared of.

12. Tell us something you love.

Originally published at on September 21, 2021.