Irene Mitchell

Hurricane S

Soaking in water, then sun —
a happy preoccupation
in summer
along the riverbank.

Were it not for the river overflowing
on a sunless day in October,
everyone would have been refreshed and cozy
after work
as is the mean for Autumn in New York.

I don’t want to re-live that period.
By concentrating
I can get a grip on fantasy.

In this fantasy,
a hurricane uses a password
for permission to come ashore.
May I?

I don’t want to re-live that period
when havoc heaved its burden
upon the innocent.

We saw the stars flatten
the way they do in a tempest.
One could say about this claim
there’s no tomorrow in it —

but morning, like an attendant peacock,
puffs up and thrills, everyone invited
to find a moment to turn
knowing that the burning shaft of light
at the escape hatch down the runway
will quickly vanish
as salmon through a gauntlet of bears.