Wind riffles the leaves …

I shiver,

Huddling up to a tree.

Propelling wind urges the clouds,

Raindrops fall, faster, faster,

Bucketfuls dumped from a higher rain barrel.

I know the fireplace at home

Is warmly snapple-cracking,

Splinters popping.

Wind gulps hungrily at my slicker,

Trying to suck it away from me.

Trees bend closer to one another for comfort.

Wind whips streamlets of my hair at me;

Sheets of water slide down my back.

I left a pair of socks

Drying on the hearth;

They are warm now,

Waiting for my feet like toasters for bread.

Trees groan, tormented.

The storm opens its jowls and bites one off.

The river swells, leaps at the bridge—

Wood snaps, cracked to splinters.

It rains.

I sog.

Water diffuses into my system,

Diluting the blood.

I’d left the chicken soup on low;

It too would be waiting,

Wondering why I did not come.

The river churns, frothy, grabbing mouthfuls of trees.

The slicker flaps against my leg,

Like a wounded duck, whapping in the wind.

Water drips into my brain,

Puddling at the bottom.

Lightning cracks the sky in two,

Like a deep midnight eggshell,

Jagging a tree.

The trunk splits, peeling back the bark.

Boulders of thunder roll

Tumbling from the sky.

My ears blink.

The tree lies torn, twisted in pain.

My sopping shoes schlupp

In drooling mud

Sucking to swallow them.

The tree cries.

I huddle, raincoat clinging to me for reassurance,

And see the lights.