Winner of the 2008 Pecan Grove Press National Chapbook Competition


ABOUT Francine Witte


Francine Witte grew up in Queens, New York.  She earned a Masters at SUNY Binghamton and an MFA at Vermont College.  Her poems have appeared in many journals.  Her one-act plays have been produced in New York City.  Her flash fiction chapbook, The Wind Twirls Everything, was published in 2007 by MuscleHead Press.  She lives in New York City and teaches English in the New York City Public School System.  Please visit her website at

Pecan Grove Press

First Rain
by Francine Witte

ISBN: 978-1-931247-61-0 $8

“Like all great classical crooners, Fran Witte has seamlessly melded deep personal losses and insights onto the universal level where we join her in wishing ourselves the good life. Her poetic touch is at once penetrating and yet subtle, leaving the silences after her poems spiced with the perfume of a graceful and forbearing intelligence. But it is their wisdom that’ll make this small debut last through time, while you, time after time, go back after the song she sings which echoes what is ineffable in your heart.”
                  —Jack Myers

That morning

when I looked out
over the ocean, I knew
that this was the beginning
of time without you.

It felt something like
the start of the oceans,
the slow, steady change
of vapor into rain
trickling drop by drop.
Something like
forgetting one memory.
Then forgetting another.

Later, the water
settled into oceans
which even now,
after millions of years,
wriggle with waves,
spindrift with uncertainty.

Again, I remember I’ve lost you.
Again, the ocean swells.


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