I Grew Up in a Drought

Sydney Sheneman

Every day I drove past that dried out lake. 

Every day I tried to imagine sparkling water blanketing that ugly 

cracked dirt. Every day I tried to find beauty in the parched earth I had grown so accustomed to. It was hard to find beauty in something so broken. 

I remember looking up at the sky 

staring so fiercely at those white, fluffy clouds 

wanting so badly for them to turn a deep shade of gray— 

to release just a drop of water—to heal that emptier-than-empty lake’s gaping wounds. 

That rain never came—for years 

that rain never came. And so for years I drove past that dried out lake 

still imagining that sparkling water, still trying to recognize its beauty, still attempting to will the clouds to turn ugly and for the sky to turn dark until one day 

it rained. 

I can still hear that storm the way the rain pounded against my roof how the water that ran down my street didn’t sparkle how instead of healing the cracked earth, the storm simply carried it away. After that storm was another. And then another and another and another and at some point when I drove past that dried out lake once again it was not dried out. It was filled to the brim with muddied water not a single dry crack to be seen and yet somehow I thought nothing of it. I stopped remembering the drought the moment that first storm came. After an entire life of caring and hoping and trying all it took was one storm one good rain to forget completely.

About the Author

Sydney Sheneman is a junior at Oklahoma State University majoring in Creative Writing. After graduating she hopes to pursue a career in secondary English education and to continue publishing works which bring attention to women’s issues. Currently, she lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma, but hopes to one day return to her home-city Austin, Texas.


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