Drenched in Rainy Night Thoughts

Rain pitter-pattered on the tile shingled roof last night.
The sound of a thousand tiny drums
Marching through the night’s silence.

Crescendoing around 3 AM with a mighty climax,
We lie sleepless and beaten,
Left wet with our lingering thoughts of work
And other monstrous mental intrusions.

Undeterred by the rain,
The vigilant raccoon found his way up the feeder pole
And stuffed himself on sweet succulent seed
Intended for the morning birds.

I thought back to when
We were young boys growing up
In the normality and conformity-obsessed 1950s.
We were raccoons!
Devilish dervishes.
Clever, mischievous
And if allowed, nocturnal.

Once your mind sets sail in the midst of the night,
There is no telling where it might end up.
I even recalled Miss Woods, our fifth grade science teacher,
Telling us that a baby raccoon was called a kit.
Not to be mistaken for kittens,
The offspring of the friendly household cat.
And throwing in a dash of sociology,
Our well-rounded teacher added that
The word “coon” was considered pejorative by Negroes.
Yes, there was one African-American girl
In my homeroom class at Elm School.
To her school mates, she was always Lizzie
But to her parents she was nothing less than Elizabeth.

Having survived the night, the drenching rain
And my fickle hoboing thoughts,
The morning broke in panicked sunshine
That nervously worked its way through remaining clouds,
Threatening to shower us again with wet blessings.

As I watched the sun struggle through the clouds,
I could only but think how so often
I manage to rain on my own parade in life.
That I cannot blame on the night’s steady downpour.

13 thoughts on “Drenched in Rainy Night Thoughts

  1. First of all Don, I had to look up the word “pejorative”, even though I thought I knew what it meant, I wanted to be sure.

    The term “coon” , like the word “nigger” was attached to us by our white masters, and later the owners of the farms where we were “sharecroppers”. The terms were used to say folks with brown skin color were less than animals. I never really understood it until I got older, why they called us “coons”.

    In 1998 I became close friend with a white woman online — she had issues and I traveled miles to help her out — while her family ignored her and left her suffering. They showed their appreciation in 2001 by putting a dead pregnant female racoon on my vehicle late one night. I can’t tell you how hard I cried, and because of it — my friend and I didn’t talk for a couple of years. It was her brothers, both in thier late sixties that did the deed. So you see, nothing have really changed.

    I thank you for writing this — it’s a good way of communicating.

  2. Thanks Brenda. I like what you have been writing as well.

    Dan, too bad. So you are also related to the ancient Greek philosopher, Homer (Ὅμηρος, Hómēros) or maybe the other Homer (the one in the Simpsons)!

  3. Interesting… I Googled Uncle Cephas Cunningham, and the only thing that came up was someone in a lawsuit who had the same name (in 2007). If my Mom had any of the poems, they may have suffered the same fate as Uncle Homer’s (Cephas’ brother) WW I journal: she threw it away!

  4. By the way, Ralph, did I mention that my Mother’s Uncle Cephas was the Poet Laureate of Ohio way back when?

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