Struck by Lightning, Or Not
Summer evening thunder and rainstorms,
my mother would let my brother and I
sleep on the squeaky porch chaise and canvas cot
under musty camp blankets.
She knew we weren't any more, or less, in danger
outside than in.
I could hear thunder coming closer,
and count on my fingers
the seconds from flash to thunder
in an illusion of prediction.
The brilliant flash, crackle and hiss
of a close lightning strike,
then the avalanche of sound.
It was good practice early
for facing fear, much later
as I watched my daughter
first drive the car away by herself,
waited for the oncology report,
resigned from my job of 37 years.
The rain poured down loud
on the porch roof.
Wind-blown drops were damp on my cheeks.
Flickering lights through my eyelids,
the low passing rumbles of
bowling balls and pins of the gods,
I would still fall asleep.