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Lecturing My Daughter on Her First Fall Rain
Tom Montag


this then is fall rain.
i spoke of it

in july, telling you
rain has textures,

telling you july
rain drives deep for

dry roots, to fill them,
drives in at warm

angles, softly. i
told you then fall

rain is cold, rough as
wrought iron, sometimes,

bent as rusted nails.
you were content,

though, to wait, to learn
this rain by touch,

to measure your blue
fingers against

the still warm places
between rain-drops

on your surprised face.

This poem is permanently incorporated onto a hallway wall on the second floor 
of the Midwest Airlines Convention Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Used here with the author's permission.



Tom Montag was raised on an Iowa farm, but now lives in Wisconsin. Retired from a career in the printing industry, he is the author of several books of poetry as well as several books of prose. He's also a songwriter and plays bass, as often as he can. Tom teaches creative nonfiction and poetry at The Mill: A Place for Writers, in Appleton, Wisconsin, and his work has appeared in numerous literary magazines. Tom's poem, "Lecturing My Daughter on Her First Fall Rain," has been incorporated into the permanent design of Milwaukee's Convention Center, along with the work of other Wisconsin writers. Learn more about him at

Post New Comment:
very nice poem. Sparse in a good good way -- precise but still full of feeling.
Posted 10/05/2014 10:39 AM
Great descriptions.
Posted 10/05/2014 07:30 AM
after days of rain, a lovely poem, Tom, thanks...
Posted 10/05/2014 07:18 AM
Ross Kightly:
To aim for a surprised face at every rain shower! Great stuff, thank you [from the sunshine on the other side of the Pond].
Posted 10/05/2014 04:37 AM
Today's rain was the cold, rough as wrought iron kind. Perfect timing.
Posted 10/04/2014 11:17 PM

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