Photo by Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash:




           The storm hit the house—a car
at 70 miles per hour.

.             I saw the tree in front rush
toward the window
whip it repeatedly:
mad lover, angry husband.

           Leaves clung to the glass,
branches scraped the paint

           off the windowsill—
the terrifying gesture
.                           of a drowning man,
when someone else 

           watches in fascination.
Next morning, the porch 

           was a massacre scene,
waiting for us to sift
.                           through mounds
of debris and lopped limbs, 

           to identify, label, and mourn
each find, have it join 

           its respective body in funeral.
The impatiens pot
.                           was neatly split in two,
a clean cut by a samurai sword. 

           It had lost all its blooms,
surviving the impact 

           with stem unharmed.
Down the street,
.                           the old oak
had fallen onto a minivan, 

           the roof buckling gently
under the burden, but not

           giving in. It could have been
ours, the minivan,
.                           or that gentle buckle
in front of the storm.


First published in Sheila-Na-Gig, Volume 4.1, Fall 2019

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