Even hours after Hurricane Bob—
the Wrath of Bob—
made its pitiful midnight landfall
thirty or so miles down the coast from us,
I couldn’t sleep. I was still gauging
each new instant’s dangers.
I could feel the waves snatch at the seawall
that the front of the cabin was perched on.
The wind was still turned up way too loud.
The back side, I’d heard, was supposed to be
worse than the front side. Had it come through yet?
Was it still coming?
Next morning I’d write in my notebook
about how my wife got up and made the coffee wrong
and reset the electric clock wrong,
strolled on the torn-up beach for a bit
and settled down to read a thousand-page novel
by Jean Auel, and how irritated I was with her,
how I fumed; how much I’d unlearned.
I’d been sober eight months.
A drunk, I would write, no matter how good
or how bad he feels, knows exactly why.
It’s a knowledge he’s always safe in.
But at three in the morning,
between one side and the other of the hurricane,
while my wife beside me hummed through slumber I
ticked like eleven alarm clocks.
–from Rattle #23, Spring 2005