Back Home During Drought 

Leaves pile ankle-deep in the yard, not because of season, but for lack of rain.  Hard, brown Magnolia leaves, resembling shards of leather make clopping sounds as they scoot over pavement.  Cracks criss-cross our yard, the yard I knew as a child.  Yellowed grass spikes up on islands.  Even on the sidewalk, I step on a map without labels.  My mother stays in the hospital tonight, perhaps for several days.  The weather promises no rain.  The tree copes by letting go and letting go, I, by walking out of doors, by squinting into bright sky, by trying to touch a living water inside myself. 

Copyright 2001,  Rebecca Balcarcel 

Rebecca Balcarcel is a student of Bennington College's MFA program and the recipient of their Jane Kenyon Scholarship.  She lives in Texas and presents a Creative Writing Camp to area schools as well as filling the role of Vice-President in North Texas Professional Writers Association.  Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals, both on- and off-line including Clockwatch Review,, South Dakota Review, Aura Literary Review, and others.  A short-story of hers appears in the anthology 121 North, available at  She writes in the wee hours when her identical twin toddlers are asleep..