Stabbed like a stalk of celery
into the outskirts of Wilton,
a fragment of rainbow marks
the spot where luck runs out.
That’s because the storm still storms
in its vortex, sunshine lobbing
photons into a drapery of rain.
We have to keep driving east
into a simmer of headlights
behind which angry commuters
twiddle with their radios,
hoping to tune in good news.
An expensive sort of evening.
Colors wash off in the rain,
exposing our plain humanity.
Everyone who spots the rainbow
pulls off the road to snap
a photo or two, hoping this omen
isn’t ominous as a shark smile
but sprightly as a bough of blossoms.
At an office in Amherst our cat
has suffered dental surgery
and wants to come home with us
with her carnivore sneer intact.
At the moment neither day nor night
applies to this fluttery landscape.
Parked cars at a roadside café
shine with that wet metal shine
we’d like to impose on each other
to restore our flagging fortunes.
The rainbow fades for a minute
or two, then recurs in greater pomp.
It embodies a certain bombast,
illuminating excess ions,
but isn’t political enough
to critique the way we’d parse
a gravel pit or housing project.
Remember the double rainbow
over the huge open copper mine
near Tucson, where a gleaming braid
of railroad caught all the colors?
Wilton offers a homier scene,
the rainbow masking the indifference
of lightning raking the distance.
Let’s drive as deliberately
as believers on a pilgrimage,
and maybe our cat will greet us
with a hint of primal emotions
that like this prismatic rainbow
offers the subtleties we need.