Poem by Ellen Stone

May 15, 2023

A storm coming from far off

My dull metal sweater, heart poured open
emptied shallow as a narrow puddle.
I packed without it, left with the slightest
jacket full of feathers. Saw the flatlands,

prairie. Knew the bluestem there would keep me 
rooted deep. How I could see a storm coming

from far off, longways into twilight. So
much time before rain came, I could get ready.

On my little porch in Kansas, I sat through
a thunderstorm to see what would happen.

Held on stubborn, shellacked and pelted.
Became a yellow thing and floated

overhead while the wind bore down and tried
to tear up all the furniture. I kept 
on—wanting to believe in aftermaths. 
Then settled back to earth a summer bird 

sinking into the garden. Back there singing
while the sky cleared up as if nothing 

had really happened—the bumpy street 
filled with shrapnel from the solitary elm.

About Ellen Stone

Ellen Stone advises a poetry club at Community High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan and co-hosts the monthly poetry series Skazat!. She is the author of What Is in the Blood (Mayapple Press, 2020).

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