November Storm


November Storm

Quiet now,
so quiet I can almost imagine
the sheets of rain beating on the roof,
running down the windows, while I make tea
and feel its heat in my hands, the rest of me
buried under my blanket in my chair,
drying mouse hunter snoring in my lap.

The house will shake with yet another gust,
the roar and whistling of wind streaking by
not long from its marathon above the ocean
from the tropics or Alaska, or wherever this storm was born.

The lights will flicker with the bigger gusts and maybe go out,
leaving us with the lone candle on the coffee table,
before I light Grandma’s “coal oil lamp”
and get out the cribbage board.

Perhaps then we will make sandwiches by candlelight,
sipping the soup I’d made before the storm began,
and deal another hand, laughing and talking—
the storm slamming against the house,
garbage can lid and the last of the leaves
sailing by,
in the deep black of the soaking wet
night.

Later on, under the added blanket,
I will wake to a long gust, whistling around the house
yet more rain coming sideways, only
the lightning showing me the neighbor’s house,
thunder joining the wind in chorus of the night long song.

After dawn, air still, rain down to a drizzle,
the rumble of the furnace, and the refrigerator,
means I can make the coffee,
the cribbage board there on the table, ready for the next deal.

—Neal Lemery, 11/18/13

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