NaPoWriMo, Day 13

13 Apr




My mother and I walked through
the front yard after the hurricane, picked up

downed pine and oak limbs, a twisted lawn
chair from someone’s yard. There was so much

she said not to touch—broken window panes
splashed with mud, the power line that snaked

and sizzled in the street—that every object
became a hazard, a promise of ruin. I learned

this lesson—bare feet on chinaberries, a shard
of glass. So much I wanted to touch, to raise

to the storm’s yellow light, the sky’s swift
afterthought of rain. So much we loved—

the yard of pines and mimosa trees—and so much
we lost. Under the iron sky, I bent to a buttercup

and let its pollen whisper against my nose. Safe.
A tarp thrown over a roof. A tree through the attic.

What, I asked my mother, is safe? I could not see her
feet through the floodwater. The egrets filled the ditch.

What is safe? It was still raining. I could not see her at all.

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