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Monday, February 2, 2015

Before the Storm

We batten down,
shelter in place,
eat what might be
our last hot meal
for a time,
full comfort stomachs
before the winds arrive.
We test batteries,
line the mantle,
two flashlights,
a lantern
one fat candle
on a crystal base.
our spotlight hits
a float of snow,
updrafts foretelling
a sideways gale,
the ocean
gnawing hollows
where map-lines
used to be.
We know
electronics will ping
as electricity goes,
that we’ll wrap ourselves
in blanket-capes,
inch closer
to an auburn fire.
During the closed-off night,
winds will flay the high-top pines.
We’ll wince at a crack
somewhere close,
register the thump
in our chests
as a hundred-year oak
loses its footings,
peer out 
to see nothing,
the swirl of storm
wailing outside,
but bleeding in,
reminding us
our lack of power
has nothing at all to do
with an absence of light.

All is well here.  We didn't even lose power during this one, but that doesn't mean I didn't worry.  Whenever I yearn to live closer to the ocean, photos like this, change my mind: Boston Globe


Bish Denham said...

Ooooo. Beautifully said. Do stay warm. And I hope the oak really didn't crack under pressure.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I can feel the tension AND the comfort.

Elana Johnson said...

Awesome! I love the storm outside, but "bleeding in." Beautiful.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My daughter had her classes canceled in Boston again. Brutal winter so far.

Robyn Campbell said...

Liza, how beautiful. Your imagery plopped me right in the middle if the storm. It's hard for me to pick which line I love the most. Blanket capes or bleeding in or float of snow. What a lovely poem.

I agree about the photos. Especially that first one, the wave and the icicles. I think I'll write a poem from the wave photo. Powerful. We haven't had ANY snow in NC. I want some. I love to go riding in it.


Joanne said...

glad you folks are okay. Sounded wicked. I always worry for my Dad in PA with his huge oaks looming above his house. You painted quite a picture in this poem

Robin said...

I love your poems. I love your other writing, too. However your imagery is excellent. Even though I'm in FL and the weather is fine... for those moments I was right there with you.

Michael Di Gesu said...

I've been missing all the INSANE weather across the north and east... But I leave sunny Florida for NYC on Wed.

Hoping for some clear weather. I am so psyched to be going to the SCBWI conference ....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That was wonderful, Liza!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I absolutely love this, Liza! My favorite parts were "the ocean gnawing hollows" and the ending, with the concept of true "power."

JJ said...

Great poem! I do miss New England, and that snow is beautiful. However, now that I am a weather wimp in Florida, I do understand the concept of a snowbird.

Daisy said...

Wonderfully written, Liza! I love the contrast between the comfort inside and the chaos outside. Nicely done!

glnroz said...

.../made my bones ache from the cold..hope you made it through ok...

Gail said...

This is absolutely beautiful in its truth.

There may be a need for mustard in this storm! I have crackers. Thanks for coming by.

cleemckenzie said...

Really lovely. I grabbed an extra blanket after reading it.

randi lee said...

Brilliantly written!