by Gerald Arthur Moore

As the hurricane gets serious
the potted plant, a waxed leaf begonia
decides it can’t take it anymore and jumps
off the end table, and breaks itself on the hardwood.

The air has changed and the choir of birds
no longer sing, they’re panicked.
Every aged tree in the neighbourhood shakes,
preparing for the force, testing themselves;
but the old ones, the octogenarians, know.
They are going over to the other side tonight
and seem quietly resolved to their fate.

The seaside salt rain starts coming in heaving sheets,
and in the bluster and knuckles and destruction come,
like a drunk at Christmastime, when the paycheque
is gone, and the new lights flicker on the tree – purchased
by Mom without Dad’s permission. All he sees
is the money we can’t afford. So he becomes the storm,
and tears down the tree – and puts the heels of his work-boots
over the painted glass bulbs, and grinds them into
coloured grit on the floor.

As I sweep up the broken pot
the deep howl comes from within the storm,
the floorboards creek as the house leans
and we flinch.


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