Poetry | September 01, 1997
All day we watched it—my mother, brother,
and I—the relentless wrath, the furious
downpour of God. Our zucchini plants
torn loose from the soil, lumber and stovepipe
roiling in the creek. Mid-afternoon
the bloated carcass of a muskrat sped by,
pummeled along in the swill. When the electric pole
threw blue sparks and died, we watched
by lantern light. We had entered that domain
where it is easier to look than not,
where the flood seemed lovely
because it had nothing to do with us.
And strangely enough—walled in
those years by turmoil—we were safe.
By morning the rain had slowed to a patter,
and our stove was working again.
A great, giddy weight had slid off us,
one we hadn’t even known was there.
My mother sang as she flipped pancakes
and I rubbed knuckles into my brother’s hair.
The first white sun thundered in.
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