Meteorological madness, it was,
the warnings accreting like worries,
overlapping, tumbling into
ominous air, hushed and
heavy as portents:
the midday dark, and when
the mouths of the sky opened, they
shouted awesome as if Nature were
angry at its word being co-opted,
diminished, applied to every
unworthy and trivial good.
Here, said Nature, is awesome:
two inches of rain in fifteen minutes,
gales to capsize galleons,
pea-sized hail forming snowdrifts
in late July. Rivers foaming
and galloping over ruined banks.
Here, said the wild world, is awesome.
I shoveled the deck later,
surveyed the damage:
Young spinach and kale shredded
inside the shattered cold frame.
Ripening cherry tomatoes
pulverized; likewise, the rhubarb,
its broad, wrinkled leaves in tatters.
Yet, new growth this morning, hatching
from the plant’s center like a verdant egg.
The tomatoes, too, sprouting tender leaves,
though there will be no more buds
and no harvest, not before a killing frost.
They were still alive and keeping on, as if
it were all the same: the sun and the storm,
the fruit and the barren stalks,
the benevolence of one day,
the violence of another.
Oh, I said, nearing 60 with so much
gone wrong, so much unrealized:
That’s how it’s done.