Fear Is a Bucket By the Rain Spout

Linda Dove


It sits empty without weather. It learns
to wait, its metal a hole of slack.
Then it storms, and
it fills.
The sound gusts through
every odd chance.
To answer it, you find whatever words
that you must say out loud—
or die—
because the bucket has put them in you.
It turns its glare soft with water,
the blue of something big on its surface.
Its clouds, its birds, are brief.
They are tricks of the eye.
The dead bee
is real, a vain floater.
The pail holds this pollen-bit speck
against sky and damps
the buzz.
Somewhere a dance.
Somewhere soon a darkening,
that falls on the day’s accident
and strips the sodden wings
to tongues.



Linda Dove holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature and teaches college writing. She is also an award-winning poet, and her books include, In Defense of Objects (2009), O Dear Deer, (2011), This Too (2017), and the scholarly collection of essays, Women, Writing, and the Reproduction of Culture in Tudor and Stuart Britain (2000). Poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America. She lives with her human family, two Jack Russell terriers, and three backyard chickens in the foothills east of Los Angeles, where she serves as the faculty editor of MORIA Literary Magazine at Woodbury University.