This is Why

After rain, the weedy parking lots
were gray and quiet
and narrow strips of long grass
soaked our shoes as we headed home.

At night we lay in bed
and listened to them shriek while
something else (strange as what
they told us would be death)
was calling deep inside.

My brother.

So we grew up
and ran away to California
where evening reddens into mad, soft singing
as sundown stains the hills.

At the bottom of the valley, we dare not speak.
We listen
for the hush that will seep at last
from the inside of everything.

Jean Berrett received her MFA in Poetry from Eastern Washington University. Her poems have been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Poets, Wisconsin Review, Puddingstone, and Plain Brown Wrapper, among others. She lives and writes in Wisconsin.