I used to love the run-up to a storm, watching from the porch as the grown-ups hurried to bring things in, my mother rummaging through drawers for a flashlight, cursing: nothing was where it was supposed to be in our house. It can’t be so, but the only people I ever remember huddled in the basement were my mother and me, suspended in that eerie half-light like bats. We’ve just spent a week like this, my mother perched in a chair above the water keeping watch for the next bad thing. We were happy so sometimes she’d let the vigil rest, the sentry of her shoulders easing to a more receptive pose, a quarter moon, until something called her back to the watch, mother first no longer but this white, foremost light. You can read by it. You can see.
Source: Poetry (October 2011).
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This poem originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Poetry magazine
Poems by Melanie Braverman