We Weather Them

Posted on 19 April 2010

The dead have their seasons.
We weather them,
though the winds of them
howl awfully sometimes,

funneling up clouds of  belongings
they think they still need-
an umbrella with broken ribs,
a widowed glove, a haggard coat.

The dead are difficult to forecast.
We can’t reckon or reason with them,
can’t capture their amassing
on satellite photos and weather maps.

We have no gauges or sensors,
no data to justify a watch or warning.
We can only issue advisories
and hope they will be temperate.

We moor the boats, move inland,
indoors, to our interior rooms.
We take all the usual precautions,
but the dead still come

with precipitous entrances,
heat lightning at the screen door
before the downpour, the flooding,
heavy as hailstones,

in the snare of sleet pelleting the glass,
or slowly, snowdrifts in a whiteout,
insidious as black ice,
that first coat.

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