Distance from the Storm

Photo by Karina Kashuba on Unsplash

Clean mask in hand, I stand and look across the yard.
Warren works the garden, scratching down a dusty row.
From a shady spot nearby, Tuffy stalks a phantom mouse.
I step to dirt, walk down the drive, and stalk the empty street.

This spring has been a year of waiting. Sickness in New York,
too close, like lightning in a yellow sky. And now, it dances
the air down south, and west, returns again to us. Too close.
We hold our lives like breath, counting ‘til we hear it here.

We’ve had this wait before. Forty years ago, we watched,
breathless then, too. Our brothers flashed like lightning,
and were gone. We counted thunder more than twenty years.
With time, the rain let up. Warren planted; I wrote. We breathed.

Today’s walk done, I turn back to the yard, tamping down my fears.
Warren shows off his flowering garden; I scratch Tuffy’s ears.

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