The Man Who Had Elbows Made of Rain

eventually came to resent being called in
to areas of drought, asked to wave or
do the chicken dance in cornfields
and flower gardens for no pay, only
a potluck dinner at the local church.
He thought about charging money —
it didn’t seem right, though he
couldn’t say why. Weren’t there
plenty of other freaks who happily
profited from the calamities of
their birth — an extra head, say,
or lobster claws, or a beard
where no beard should be? Still,
he never got over the feeling that,
inconvenient though it was, and
as many things as he ruined —
clothes, books, a velvet couch —
it was a gift to have rain elbows,
and the gift was meant to be shared.
So he always got up (with a sigh),
he always answered the phone, and
he always went — time after time
after desperate, dry time.


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