One theme. One poet. One memoirist.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


This week's theme: Storms

I have always, to use an Austenian turn of phrase, been of an anxious disposition. When I was a little girl I used to sleep on the floor at the end of the hallway between the bedrooms because I was afraid of any number of things including but not limited to: demonic possession (thanks Roman Catholicism!), burglars, ghosts, my sleepwalking younger brother, and thunderstorms.

I have, for the most part, overcome many of these fears (partially because I no longer live in a creaky house surrounded by people who talk and walk in their sleep). One of the few fears I have not managed to master is my fear of and distaste for thunderstorms.

I am not talking about the occasional hard rain shower with a little thunder or lightening, but the huge windy, wild, midsummer storms we have here in the midwest. The kind of storms that can easily bring about hail and high winds. Pounding rain and tornados. While I no longer sleep on the floor in the hallway, when one of these storms blows up it takes every ounce of self-possesion and rationality I have not to run into the basement and cower under the stairs with a blanket over my head.

Storms do not bring out the best in me.



When we were young, we had a dog who was afraid of loud noises. Thunder, mainly. But also, the way cars backfired, the vacuum cleaner, the sound of my father's motorcycle pulling into the driveway. It was my job to walk him and more than once it started to storm. We lived in the country then, so, angry and drenched, I would have to half-drag all ninety pounds of frightened dog through the mud. Once, after a fight with my mother over clothing and money and grades and boys, I stormed from the house pulling the dog after me. After a few miles it began to rain and then to thunder. When the dog balked I pulled his leash ferociously, nearly choking him. He refused to move, just sat and looked at me and trembled until I knelt, put my arms around him, and wept.

1 comment:

  1. This poem breaks my heart.

    You share so well what it is to be both light and dark--to be human.