V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





The cyclone cramped and groaned down the road
towards us, her graceful funnel white on the outside
with a painful red core.  I clutched my daughter
and rolled with her into a watery ditch, sheltered
from the wind’s hungry tug.  Lowness protected us,
a crevice in the earth’s body where the clay
was streaked with veins like a crone’s paw. 
I covered her eyes while I looked and looked
into that endless, striated, bloody hole. 

I am ready to turn my face away, practice
cackling, shop for slimming black weeds. 
Nor do I want my girl to learn about the weather,
to skip into the burgeoning storm, but there she goes
in her crimson shoes.  She is taller than the other
munchkins, bright with latent magic.  Now
for a female rain, swelling the muddy creek,
matting the leaves to the street, and let power doze
inside us for a little while, like a dog in a basket. 

© by Lesley Wheeler 


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