After by Naomi Thiers

Storm Chaser by Joel Robison
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At times we feel the fresh earth
lift itself
back into place after the torque,
the screech of damage
twisted it

spun it sudden—
a delicate toy hurled
into the rush of traffic.

Two days of brittle gray, metal
pound of rain and wind
turning the sky to a kettle lid
that clamps but can’t contain
the boil: trees smashing their backs
toward earth, branches and
balconies corkscrewed,
shopping carts
drifting upstream.

Then a cloak and a calm,
even ambient light blacked out.

After sleep, we emerge
register in our cells the absence of howl,
walk onto sodden grass, limbs
accounted for, sun like a greeting,
and—her skirt its familiar blue,
unfaded as ever and slightly
rippling—she steps unconcerned before us:
our sky.

Naomi Thiers

Naomi Thiers grew up in Pittsburgh, but has lived in Washington-DC/Northern Virginia since 1980. In 1992, her first book of poetry Only The Raw Hands Are Heaven won the Washington Writers Publishing House prize. Her other books are In Yolo County and She Was a Cathedral (Finishing Line Press) and her poetry and fiction have been published in Virginia Quarterly Review, Poet Lore, Colorado Review, Potomac Review, Grist, Sojourners, and other magazines. She has taught composition and poetry at several universities, a Montessori school, and homeless shelters. She works as an editor for Educational Leadership magazine.