Sunday Before the Hurricane

The sky looks wary. The trees
confer in muffled rustlings.
I should start my generator,
make sure it’s willing to cough
enough power to support me
through a rush of wind and rain.

Hardy knew about wind and rain,
his landscapes metrical enough
to swagger through the little fears
that render humans legless.
If he saw my worried expression
he would laugh into his hat.

I wish I didn’t clench like this
when distance abruptly telescopes
to shovel the tropics north.
I’d rather stand upright weeping
in the airflow, my deep convictions
that much more convincing.

The local churches remain closed
in honor of pandemic. Organs
crouch dusty and petulant as clouds
skim over the village waving
various flags and pennants
like troops of ironic angels.

Maybe I’ll stock up armloads
of groceries in case real life
continues after the hurricane.
Canned goods, boxes of pasta,
bottled water, crackers, cookies,
dry cereal, whatever’s on sale.

For now, a blueberry muffin
and a dose of oily coffee
from the only open bakery
will anchor me deep in myself
so I can face whatever’s coming
with a fixed if mealy façade.



William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His work has appeared in many print and online journals. He has taught at Emerson College, Goddard College, Boston University, and Keene State College. His most recent book is Stirring the Soup. ; twitter: @wdoreski