it had been hot and still all night
the French windows open
and only a faint hot breeze

morning brought a cooler wind
sweeping up to our house from the garden below
a frantic rustling and clatter of dry leaves—
a wind that had been lying in wait
and now it was time to strike

turning and twisting through the trees and flower beds
like a serpent, a dry dawn wind chasing away summer
a furtive wind, a coolness, a force
that would change everything

a shutter banging at regular intervals, trees agitated
and muttering, pine needles flying across the floor—
as if the trees were storming the house

and Natasha in a white suit, dressed for the city I think
battled a white curtain, a Japanese paper blind
that had come alive
that was blowing violently back and forth, snapping
like a gib sail
as she struggled and shouted my name
and the redwoods wailed
and the cedars cried in the fury of a rainless storm

 

Stuart Dodds

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