Bob Bradshaw

After the Winter Rains

Downpours left us soaked
like feral cats. Winds shredded
our umbrellas.

We put out buckets,
hung tarps over our roofs,
caulked our windows

and still we were miserable,
like apes under a canopy
of dripping leaves.

Maybe it was our prayers
or luck—or that misery
inevitably moves elsewhere—

but a morning arose
without rains, without
its ineffable winds.

Birds of paradise turned
blue-green beaks to the sun.
Flowers opened red mouths.

Warblers and orioles,
dapper in orange vests,
sang their hearts out.

Light gleamed off leaves,
shivered on wet streets,
dripped from eaves.


Everyday he is on the dock at rush hour,
watching us with a wary gaze.
He tucks
his head under his wing
as if double checking that his wallet
is there.

His shoulders slump.
His eyes have the empty look
of someone who’s been up all night
preparing a sales presentation.

When I step towards the ferry
he glares at me.
He has earned his position in line.
He has been here since sunrise.

I hang back
while he runs like a man carrying luggage
trying to catch a flight.
On board he straightens his shoulders,
his posture impeccable.
Image is everything.
He looks around, studying
the competition, and is

A Divorced Man Remembers the Summer Palace

We were sure our days
would be spent
like lotus blossoms
on Kunming Lake.

Our disputes
would be small,
settled in the Hall
of Benevolence.

What do I remember most?

The white slopes
of your cheeks

and the drifting

your wet eyelashes
rising and settling slowly
like a butterfly’s

© Bob Bradshaw

Bob Bradshaw lives in California. Many poems of his can be found on the net, including at Apple Valley Review, Cha, Eclectica, Loch Raven Review, and Pedestal Magazine.

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