Storm and the Woman by John Grey

Storm and the Woman
Jessie was frightened of the lightning.
Not the thunder, that was just noise, and she’d been
married to a man who boxed in his spare time.
And the rain was nothing. In fact, she welcomed the rain.
But lightning could hit any place, any time,
and not just some solitary forest tree or an old barn
about to fall anyhow but a living, breathing human being.
She sat with this new guy on the couch,
hugged him so close like she was trying to get
inside him for protection.
And then the thunder rolled loud and near.
She shuddered. “I didn’t think you
were afraid of thunder,” he said.
But she’d just remembered the times
her ex whacked her face suddenly, violently.
Lightning, thunder…it was near impossible
to separate the two.
Then the clouds broke and the rain poured. She started
to sob violently. “Always used to cry like this when he hit me,”
she said. “Maybe you’re different,” she added.
He was. And then eventually storms were different.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in
That, Dunes Review, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work
upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Thin Air, Dalhousie
Review and failbetter.

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