Some days you might turn and glimpse
our faces in a crowd—long enough to know
you were mistaken, and mourn again.
Other days you’ll be certain we’ve come
back—cast up by the steaming ground.
You’ll remember searching the destruction
once the funnel’s spotlight had passed on,
the clouds still streaming silver beads.
So few miles there were between calm
and turmoil. So many ways to never
make it home. You’ll remember all
the storms you’ve lived through, wonder
how long before we’re all the same,
not a charged molecule of difference
between alive and dead. If we could,
we’d tell you there is a lifetime of storms
you’ll survive, but only to a point, the point
at which some storm becomes the last,
and you’ll envy us our knowing just which
blue-black storm on the horizon blows
the regretful seeds of should-have-been,
which storm the abortive seeds of
never-was, and which one, the last one,
churning slowly, dry as dust, blows
the single, sleeping seed of done.
Susan Rooke lives in Austin, Texas. Her poetry has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Flutter Poetry Journal, U.S. 1 Worksheets, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, The Christian Science Monitor and Stone Telling, among other publications. She edits the Austin Poetry Society’s monthly MuseLetter, and has just completed the first book of a planned fantasy trilogy. Her enthusiasms lie in the peculiar, including folklore, cryptozoology and Forteana.
© 2013, Susan Rooke