Trees – Poem

Trees

At a lakehouse in Brownsville owned
by my father’s company. It had a bow-limbed tree
we climbed easily. A gravel driveway
ground like bones beneath our soles.
And bunkbeds where we fought for the top.
Where my sister in the upper bunk stuck
a tape recorder out the window
into the branches during a lightning storm.
Next day she played it back and swore
there were angry voices whispering
in the tinny wind, made us listen
over and again until convinced. Angry
in that way a whisper can be louder
than a shout. The way mothers threaten
with their teeth set
together. We sat on the floor for hours
trying to decipher what they say.

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Tropical Depression – Poem

Tropical Depression

Unlike other storms, Alicia
never wavered, never eyed

another destination, her satellite coil
of clouds blotting out

the TV radar screen, tracking westward
along the coast

towards the island
of our salvation. Headlights guided

a tourists’ line of retreat
on Seawall Boulevard,

windshield wipers clicked off
a steady stream of missed opportunities.

The scent of coconut oiled the air
inside our car, milky and nostalgic, the linger

of a summer already ended,
and all our little failures

swept across the glass
and puddled in the flooding street.