Once, Uncle Bob, visiting from Eugene, Oregon and banished to smoking his pipe in the rain on the back deck, challenged his niece Kate to a poetry competition. The subject? "Leah in the Rain"--Leah, being the stone statue in the back yard, who never abandons her spot regardless of the weather.

by Uncle Bob, age 42
Christmas 1995

Leah doesn't talk much, or
move or nothin' -- just
stands there, smug, like
there's something she knows
the rest of us don't.
And maybe she does, 'cause
nothin' seems to bother her,
not even the rain.
She stands there in it,
sticking out that thick left
thigh, like thunder thighs
don't bother her one bit.
And that tit -- she gets away
with having it out, I guess
because she's different from
all the rest of us and everybody
knows it. And she doesn't care.
Maybe that's it -- what she knows --
that she's different and so what.
But I still wonder why she won't
come in out of the rain. Personally,
I think she might not have the
sense God gave gravel.
spaceholderby Kate, age 13
Christmas 1995

Alone she stands
Leah in the rain
Scarcely a glance in her direction.
And though she may be tired
And cold, she must keep standing
Proud and tall, holding her basket of flowers
Etched in stone.
Her detailed face
Looks sad and almost wistful
As though once she were a real girl
And now only a statue, proud and tall,
Standing, lonely in the rain.
The drops fall softly, slowly, sadly,
Almost taunting her, laughing at her sadness.
For they are free to fly and play
While she must stay standing
Proud and tall, holding her basket of flowers,
Leah in the rain.

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