Thank God for the Rain

Four years old — allowed
to wander the length of the dock
to the end, where I was,
a stranger in blue
looking across the water
waiting for something—a twinge
against the tightness of green
braided line extending in-
to the slippery heavy.
I saw him before, the day he fell
hard on the planks, tripped on his own
dog. He sat down beside me
until he heard his mother
from the shore, hollering,
“come now, Joshua, now before the rain
catches you.” He stood, too close,
the way kids do sometimes, asking,
“You remember the day I fell
right here?” pointing
the smallness of his fingers
to a scar leftover on his chin.
“My dad left that day. He said
he’ll be back in three days.
How long is three days?
Nobody will tell me.”