I wrote “The Rains” in the fall of 1993. Tina and I had just married in July and were living in an upper flat in Rochester — 428 W. Fourth St., to be exact, an address that is still tattooed in our memory. Rochester was a great first place for us, though commuting to downtown Detroit every day, especially in winter, left a bit to be desired. If you aren’t familiar with it, Rochester is a small old town with great shops and restaurants shoulder-to-shoulder on Main Street, an impressive tree canopy, a fantastic public library, and a beautiful municipal park with a river winding through it. It is not the worst place to be in love.
As I write this note eighteen years later, I’m reminded of the same Michigan fall atmosphere that I attempted to evoke in the poem. The amazing colors are slowly drowned out by incessant rains. Everything is wet. An umbrella should be in hand at all times but rarely is. The windshield wipers are permanently on and stand at attention even when the car is turned off. The sweaters come out and the darkness seeps in earlier and earlier. After the glittering months of summer, time becomes reflective and we turn to homework and reading.
Dave captured the two photos that surround the poem in the printed book. He wrote:
I remember still feeling relatively “new” to the Traverse City area and the thought of deliberately heading out to find “rainy” pictures felt adventurous. I hadn’t seen the Boardman River that runs through the city so up close and personal, and was taken with the rhythmic rippling of the drops in the water. I was still conscious about getting my equipment wet so I took these standing under a low viaduct looking out into the river.