Issue 11 | Summer 2012

Barking at the Storm

The Doberman across the alley is at it again, so I get up
to shout. Clouds have gathered. Thunder raises its hammer
just overhead; two halogen lamps lean over the alley,
flickering brightness. His head peeks out from the doorway
of his flimsy house, bending each time that long, electric
finger descends from the sky, much like the one that points
him outside, points him down from whatever table or couch
he is trying to ascend to. Once in Kansas I saw a funnel
cloud, all around was flat, never-ending distance. I screamed
from a place deep inside, where the soul crouches warming
its hands over an expiring flame. Just before touching down
on the vacant road ahead, the cloud vanished back into
its desolation. I never returned to Kansas after that. This animal
is always out. I’ve never seen him brought in. I’ve never
seen his master even to complain. When that deluge finally
comes, inundating his backyard world, I’ll continue to rain
down curses on him to no avail. Eventually, the storm will
empty itself, giving us back a refuge. Then in the predawn quiet,
we’ll drop into our solitary beds and fall into uneasy sleep.

Filed under: Poetry