works > The Mantle of the Storm

Remember when I was in awe of you?
When I could stand on the porch, anticipating your arrival?
Reveling in each cool, still, green moment. I thought I knew,
I thought I could predict, I thought we were connected,
kinswomen, soft, powerful beauties.

That was before.
That was before the ceiling bulged overhead,
before the water rose up,
before the leaves and branches barred my every path.

That was before you took things that didn’t belong to you,
even though they were most likely forgotten until you took them.
Now, now they may be all that’s left.
This little scrap may be someone’s last memory.
This little shingle may be the last of their roof.
And you took them so far away, across state lines to people that didn’t even know them.
I wanted to save them, to preserve them, to honor them.
But I found it was still of you who I thought.
I tried to be earnest and compassionate and sympathetic,
and I was,
but it was you.
And so I gathered them, and tried to again make them like you,
so lovely,
so mean,
so cool and aloof.

Remember that I am still in awe of you.
But I know better now. Tempests do not keep company.
I stay inside now. I close the blinds, and move away from windows,
and remember when I was able
to wear the mantle of the storm.

The Mantle of the Storm