I open my umbrella on Hill Road; shrill blue jays
cry, “Rain, rain, rain!” It is the fault of this rain,
rudely arriving this wet. Why do I avoid a soaking
to the skin in the summer, in this warm, sensual torrent?

In the pasture, just over the fence, two ponies ignore me,
no manners, stamping hooves, shaking manes; they’ve seen
my contraption before, but the cows, country bumpkins,
abruptly stop grazing, lift white faces, and stare too pointedly.
Have they read Everyday Etiquette, chapter three?

Their first umbrella encounter, I must be a strange apparition.
I could be any manner of creature, predator, foreigner,
city-slicker, debutante, bouffanted back-up singer. Used to
the farmer’s seed cap, are the steers simply laughing
at my enormous, silly hat?

Maybe they’re a little grudging, thinking of suffering
through another, frigid, winter drizzle, stiff, frozen hides,
sleet in the eyes. The calves whine, “Mother, I want one!”
Will the heifers jump the fence, screwy mall shoppers
at Christmas, and run me down for my gizmo?