April Rain Song

By Langston Hughes

Let the rain kiss you.

Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.

Let the rain sing you a lullaby.


The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.

The rain makes running pools in the gutter.

The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night-


And I love the rain.


The Cherry Tree

By David Wagoner

Out of the nursery and into the garden   

where it rooted and survived its first hard winter,   

then a few years of freedom while it blossomed,   

put out its first tentative branches, withstood   

the insects and the poisons for insects,   

developed strange ideas about its height   

and suffered the pruning of its quirks and clutters,   

its self-indulgent thrusts   

and the infighting of stems at cross purposes   

year after year.  Each April it forgot   

why it couldn’t do what it had to do,   

and always after blossoms, fruit, and leaf-fall,   

was shown once more what simply couldn’t happen.   


Its oldest branches now, the survivors carved   

by knife blades, rain, and wind, are sending shoots   

straight up, blood red, into the light again.

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