It rained steadily all day....

 

By UNA MONTGOMERY

 

It has rained steadily all day.

Shut in three storeys up,

I begin to understand Noah's wife

And forgive her for being dull.

 

After all the feverish activity

Packing food for the passengers,

Seeing to the bedding,

Taking on herbal remedies,

Filling the cracks in the Great Ark Operation

Leaving nothing to chance.

 

After all that woman's fussing

To be shut in

And see it rain steadily all day,

See the tide rising

And know that the fussing space was shrinking,

Hear her daughters-in-law whispering,

Patting their bellies,

Pleased to be in the family way.

 

Noah's wife, thinking about the months to come,

Counted new mouths to feed

Measured diminishing space,

Ark stresses and tensions

And the rising tide of emergencies.

 

It rained steadily all day

By evening she had wound up her nerves

And got her tongue under control.

We have no record that she subsequently panicked

Or lost her temper or her knack with babies

And fractious men

And other animals.

 

She neither expected nor got much credit.

She didn't presage The Flood

Nor build the Ark

It must have made Noah mad

To see her composure,

The way she looked when he reminded her for the

millionth time

 

That they owed their lives to him.

He wasn't much help when the babies came,

Or the lioness had cubs

He built the Ark.

She built survival.

 

When they docked on Ararat

Her daughters-in-law did the fussing.

She had grown heavy on her legs.

They were lighter than on embarkation.

She sat on Ararat

And surveyed the new creation

And kept her mouth shut

And her nerves under control

As had become her habit

Since the day it rained steadily all day.

 

 

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