When Hope Falters

By Jo-Ann Ledger

I envision a sudden downpour in Jackson Square
A kind Louisiana rain
blessing with a quick visit;
in and done
bringing a sweet drop in temperature
Nature’s Sno Ball.
Complex layers of city smells
briefly rise up
then are dampened down
hours ahead of the morning soapy street cleaning.
The carriage horses on the perimeter of the Square
sense it’s a short cloud burst
as the water streams off their hot backs
they shift slowly from one hoof to another
droplets sparkling on long lashes
eyes closed, they are dreaming of velvet grass
as they wait, steaming on uneven streets.
The rain cools and freshens the horses’ water troughs.
tourists take shelter under dripping balconies
or in stores and bars
“Let’s get a drink”
the a/c goose-bumping already moist skin
inducing slight shivers.
The heat will return after the rain
the brass bands will resume playing
the kids, having placed new pull tabs on their gym shoes,
will launch into a newly invigorated tap routine
the tarot card readers will emerge from under their colorful umbrellas
to entice the next customer.
What will be their fortune?