The Rain (A Metaphor for Special Education)

I am a firm believer in speaking out.

I have had to pick and choose what I say because of my profession as a teacher, but certain causes deserve attention. For me, those causes include poverty, breastfeeding, and special education. So, today I share I poem I wrote as a metaphor for the needs necessary in public school in special education.


Once I was like a child stepping out in the rain for the first time

without a parent’s guidance. No umbrella, no coat, no boots – 

Just soaked: 

A dance and a jump. I never knew where the rain drops 

would fall, for who tries to discipline rain?


I have walked in the rain in all sorts of ways with those 

who know those particular ways. The I becomes we, and

we tap dance with barefeet to see water splash upon 

rose bushes, to see more water turn a crack in the cement 

into a stream, to watch weeds and grass bend because 

the water pours, comes up from our feet, and swells the ground.


The rain falls in all ways – sideways, straight down, sprinkle, 

with thunder and lightning. We walk through the rain: splashing

through puddles like a game of hopscotch in pink rain boots 

with music notes. We make mini-runs from one shelter to the next

until we reach a door. Open a yellow umbrella and go. 

Run fast to a place away from the storm, floods, and  

a sky lit up with yellow fireworks. 


One time I said, “I don’t like the rain. When will it go away?”

Yes, it was yesterday – before I wandered in rain – I sang, 

”’Rain, rain go away.'” But, the rain does not wait. 

Some people wish they could pick the day like a

business schedule for the rain, but then those people 

never really walk in the rain.


In a new place – when I no longer had those with whom I 

danced in the rain – I met one with the award of a wise man.

In his tie and robe, he said, “You can enjoy the rain. It’s not for me.”

And, it rained. He hurried. I stayed behind in the rain because

I knew the rain fell elsewhere, too, and more wise men and women sing,

“Rain, rain go away.'”

They leave off,

“Come back again another day.”


By Rebecca T. Dickinson