Devil's Tale


By Kim Brooks-Blum


We embrace the rain because it brings life to those who live among us.

It’s sheets of wetness slamming on my roof.

The tin material reverberates the sound around me.

I feel as though I’m surrounded, I’m beaten down.

But it brings me comfort as it drains off my house and into the grass.

This is my memory of Kenya.


The temperature drops, a chill creeps into my bones.

A hush. The birds and the monkeys are silent in the trees. We wait.


It explodes on me with fierceness. I run to my home.

Wet clothing clings to me and water runs down my face like liquid ribbons.

Courtesy of Kim Brooks-BlumRain pounding on the roof of the author’s house recalled memories of Kenya.

I scramble at the door and push inside. I love being home.

Upstairs on my bed, I rest from the long day and listen to the rain.

It’s so loud I couldn’t carry on a conversation even if there was someone to talk to.

The sound of a thousand people clapping at lightning speed.

The sound of a hundred shards of glass scraping as they fall onto the pavement. It’s raining.


We embrace the rain because it brings life to those who live among us.

Their chambas will grow. Their children will eat.

We will rejoice with them.


I close my eyes and lay back on my bed.

The noise that crawled under my skin and threatened to bring insanity is now my comforter.

It holds all that Kenya has come to mean to me.

A place I hate; a place I love. A place I never want to experience again; a place I never want to leave.


I have experienced the rain. Rain that doesn’t just make me wet, but soaks me to the bone.

It doesn’t tap at my window, it pounds.

It demands my attention and insists I acknowledge its power.

Any minute it will push through the roof and find me here.


Editor’s note
This was written spontaneously as a classroom exercise in JMC 440 (Magazine Writing).

Courtesy of Kim Brooks-Blum The lush Kenyan countryside surrounds the Rift Valley Academy.

About the author’s Kenyan experience
Kim Brooks-Blum spent four years teaching at the Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe, Kenya. This international Christian school was established more than 100 years ago by missionaries traveling through Africa.

The academy, which is about an hour from Nairobi, boards student for nine months of the year and educates. The 500-plus students hail from many parts of the world, including the United States, England, Brazil, and many African areas. Kim taught American literature and other American subjects to high school students whose parents were mostly missionaries or workers in Kenya.

Although Kim immensely enjoyed her time in Africa, this poem reflects the loneliness of being away from family and friends in America.


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