Featured Poetry

Judy Mathews – After Weeks Without Rain in Northwest Ohio

“After Weeks Without Rain in Northwest Ohio” by poet Judy Mathews is an offering or a prayer to the natural blessings of a place. Like the offering of tobacco to the mythical storm-cloaked Thunderbird of the poem, this poem itself serves to pay respects to an area of Ohio in the United States and to the nourishing rain of the storm after parched rainless weeks.

After Weeks Without Rain in Northwest Ohio

a cloud bank crawls across the
Maumee River, an ominous beast
growling thunder, tumbling over itself,
lightning hides within its belly

“when thunder roars get indoors”
but I stand outside, eyes heavenward,
maybe praying—waiting,
Thunderbird clacks its beak,

letting loose rain
(female rain: a slow dance, a couple
swaying, a mother to a child—sighing)

Nature nurtured, our patch of Earth
needs no water hose—tonight at least

wing flap—one last thunderclap

putting down tobacco
in thanks, watching a breeze
take it, prayers after all—in flight

sun emerges, a steel gray
cloud cover over East Toledo,
pinkish clouds to the West,
turning to go inside, in my
peripheral vision I catch
sight of a rainbow
further Northeast

Judy Mathews

Judy Mathews received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Spalding University in their Master of Fine Arts in writing program. Her writing has appeared in The Tau, The Badlands: Winter 2019, The Avalon Literary Journal, Wild Roof Journal, The Round Table Literary Journal, and a recent Pushcart Prize nomination for a poem published in The Round Table Literary Journal. Judy is an online adjunct English instructor for Hopkinsville Community College. She is currently working on a collection of poems focusing on local natural places, and a novel inspired by four generations of strong women in her family and how family stories are interconnected to place. Her church is the wild natural wonders of a place that was once called The Great Black Swamp.

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