The Morning After a Perfect Storm: Narrative Poem by Kathleen S. Burgess

Image of a perfect storm approaching the state of Ohio

After a Great Wind

In the too-early darkness, candlelight flickered
our shadows up the stairs. Beneath open windows
we lay bare, sweating between sheets and dreams.

Transformers exploded in fireballs. The storm
peeled roofs like lids of tinned sardines. We lost
homes beneath old oaks and shallow maples.

We wake to a wounded city. Empty refrigerators.
Eat raw. Board up what we must. Make our way
through a jungle-green maze of limb and canopy.

Together we heave lighter branches to the curbs,
toss in twigs. Tree trunks that crushed our cars
we leave for huge machines to grind the wood,

spit sawdust. Cautiously we move, and watch
for the power lines’ fanged bite. After sundown
we lie uneasy, to sleep, day animals in the night.

Kathleen S. Burgess About Kathleen S. Burgess

Kathleen S. Burgess lives in Chillicothe, Ohio, and writes narrative and lyric poetry about the American experience in a variety of voices. Her work has been published in North American Review, Evening Street Review, Main Street Rag, Atticus Review, The Examined Life, JMWW, r.kv.r.y, Central American Review, and others. Shaping What Was Left, a chapbook, and Reeds and Rushes—Pitch, Buzz, and Hum, the anthology she edited, are Pudding House publications.
Gardening with Wallace Stevens, a chapbook, was published in 2017 by Locofo Chaps, a site for politically oriented poetry, with cover art by Linda Holmes.

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