the storm
07.06.11 / 9:37 pm

the birds made their way back after the storm.
the families came more slowly,
to experimentally rearrange the wreckage.
mrs. adams found a picture of her son
in the remains of the tarley's vegetable garden,
the glass wrinkled with cracks, the frame still intact.
the winds had torn up the wild blackberry bushes
where half the town picked berries
for their pies and cobblers,
and these would not return
despite the ministrations of the greengrocer,
the mayor and a professional gardener.

mrs. adams put her son's picture in a new frame
and packed it in a box between two pillows,
taking no more risks.
the box she placed between two others
on the bed of her husband's truck.
from the passenger seat, she took one last look at the ruin.
she could see where the storm had torn through the living room,
scattering likes ashes seventy years of photos and furniture,
the yellowing keys of her piano,
these reminders of what she now thought of as someone else's life.

she said a silent prayer for the cellar doors,
which had most likely saved her life,
before turning to her husband and saying simply,
"let's go."