Two Poems by Julie Pratt

And Still They Came

rain and more rain
the wet whisper of
rubber on road
the river rising
and still they came

sea of umbrellas
bobbing below the dome
rain and more rain
washing away years of
their hard-won rights

and still they came
the young woman
with a sign: I’m here
to restore what my
grandmother fought for

stories upon stories
of resilience and grit
the river rising
breaching the bank
and still they came

defying all bounds
as lawmakers plotted
rain and more rain
they swelled onto
the streets of
every town



There will come a time when
you wake up and don’t curse the sun
for its cheerfulness.
You’ll make the bed again
like the stowed-away man you are.
You won’t admit it, but you’ll
look forward to cleaning out the garage
and building that new workbench.
And maybe the next week, you’ll work on
the story you abandoned because
you’d convinced yourself you weren’t a writer.
Perhaps you’ll find yourself calling
an old buddy, who is happy to hear
you want to golf again after you swore
your arthritis made it too hard to play.
Trust me on this – when the day comes that
you fear you’ve forgotten the sound of my voice
or the scent of my bodywash and you’re
startled by the attraction you feel toward
the woman checking your groceries,
you will pause and smile
because you’ll know in your soul
that mine rests on your happiness.

Julie Pratt is a poet, storyteller, photographer, hiker and gardener. Originally from Wisconsin, she has a graduate degree in social work from UW-Madison and worked for many years with nonprofit organizations. Later in life, she earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine. Her first published poem appeared in Persimmon Tree this spring and another is upcoming in Passager this fall. She lives with her partner in Charleston, West Virginia.