The Scent of Rain
by Kathy Lohrum Cotton

    Petrichor:a distinctive, earthy, usually
    pleasant odor that is associated with rainfall

        —Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Let scientists and etymologists
speak knowingly of petrichor.

My old Lithuanian neighbor
who stands in rain-spattered pajamas,

breathing, just slow-breathing
in the middle of his wire-fenced yard—

this man does not need such a term
to describe the earthy fragrance

of raindrops touching dry soil.
He doesn’t imagine the word's origins

of god-life spilling from sacred veins
to wet earth’s simple stones.

This cloudburst soaking
his drought-brown garden brought

him from his bed, quick like a child,
wordless with wonder at the scent of rain.

Previously published in Common Ground, (2020).

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