As I walk up the street with my $5 Chinatown umbrella
I dislike how the wind and water grab my ankles
How their cold fingertips scratch the front of my knees and thighs
          It is uncomfortable.

I’m reminded that when I was smaller
I invited them to tickle and drench me
Taking mom’s colorful umbrella – the one
          with navy blue, orange and dark yellow spots.
I liked how the colors landed like rain
          if rain were paint.

I would pop it open to the sky and rest beneath it.

Close my eyes and listen to the rain patter
Blue       Yellow                   Orange
      Yellow        Blue                      Orange
  Orange                  Yellow          Blue

Open my eyes and begin my journey
Barefoot feet in joyous search of every puddle.
Jump and splash and wade through the deepest ones –
          ankles and toes forging wild rivers.

I recall it was sometimes cold,
          never uncomfortable.
Wind or rain never battered me then.

I observe a little girl with a big umbrella
Soaring over her small person
Her smile is evidence:
Walking in the rain is glorious!

My umbrella, my body, my self
           is different.
Mom’s umbrella sheltered my complete body –
I could choose to engage the rain
           when I was smaller.
Now that I’m taller, my half body is exposed –
I engage the rain
            no longer by choice.