Can anyone make out
The quality inherent
In being with an umbrella, that makes people without
On the rainiest days,
In the hardest of showers,
People with umbrellas courteously step out of other umbrella’d people’s ways
Right into ours.
Or, if as it starts
To really pour, ya
Dash for the shelter of a little awning, sure as rain’s wet someone with an umbrella darts
Under it before ya.
And you look at the fella
As you stand in the steady
Downpour, but he ain’t gonna budge, ’cause, as any one-eyed idiot could plainly see, his umbrella
Is wet enough already.
We already hear a lot
About the many forms of indiscriminate discrimination
Our world has got.
Still, I wish some teller’d
Deign to tell us
The reasons for the way the umbrellered
Treat the umbrell’less.
Max Gutmann writes: “In ‘Raindroppings,’ a line of OgdenNashian length is part of each otherwise regularly metered quatrain. These lines get longer and longer, and then shorter and shorter. I hope this helps the poem feel both sillily loose, and formally structured: the topic, though it may sound invented, is an actual aspect of human nature, trivial in itself but reflective of more serious attitudes.”
Max Gutmann has worked as, among other things, a stage manager, a journalist, a teacher, an editor, a clerk, a factory worker, a community service officer, the business manager of an improv troupe, and a performer in a Daffy Duck costume. Occasionally, he has even earned money writing plays and poems.
‘Raindroppings’ was first published in Light Quarterly