Petrichor – Jack B. Bedell

My mother always opened the window
        after a rainstorm. That breeze

brought all kinds of joy into her kitchen
        and took away the weight of whatever work

she had to get done. She couldn’t
        sing a single note, so let her knife

kick up a rhythm chopping onions
        or the hot oil in her skillet hiss out its own tune

while that rain smell just danced around
        the house. Somehow, it was always more

than the gift of cool air on a hard day.
        It was, itself, the whole day.

Now, I can’t help but walk the woods
        behind my house after a storm

no matter how many ghosts it raises
        like steam off the hot ground.
Jack B. Bedell

Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University where he edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. Jack’s work has appeared in PidgeonholesThe ShoreThe HopperTerrain, and elsewhere. His latest collection is No Brother, This Storm. He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.

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