When I was a kid, a weather alert meant grabbing the flashlights and transistor radio and hunkering down together in the basement until it passed. Nowadays, I love watching storms. Especially the fast-moving ones whose character changes every time you turn your back. Skies morphing from eerie yellow-green to smoke and pitch, lightning zig-zagging in random flashes, winds blowing vertical downpours into gravity-defying horizontal ones, cold fronts flash-freezing raindrops into hail or even oversized snowflakes that spin out and splat against the windowpanes. Below is one of my first published poems, about a real-life, five-minute April rainstorm. It made its debut in issue 11 of Mock Turtle Zine.
STROBE LIGHT STORM
A gray horizon met my sleepy eyes
as I let the dog out;
smells like rain, I thought.
She was back in a minute…
The sky had grown three shades darker,
angry clouds pushing and shoving in the wind.
The other dog demanded his turn,
the atmosphere now roiling, the air electric.
He hesitated, then made his move,
hovering in mid-squat when it hit.
No warning sprinkles,
a vertical deluge, like a beaded curtain.
He hastily concluded his “business”
ducking my towel and shaking water everywhere
before curling himself back into bed.
I gave him a pat and put the kettle on.
The storm had passed, the day brightened before me
Spring in Ohio, I thought, and smiled.
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