Academic journal article The Hudson Review

The Storm

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

The Storm

Article excerpt

Juddering, heaving blasts

through window frames and doors,

puffing chimney smoke

back into the room,

streaming rain on glass,

trying to heave the house

up into the air

past morning and all afternoon

flying like a bird

until the ten-foot garden wall

crumbled and fell flat

beyond the flowerbeds-

greyish clump-fired bricks

and lengths of coping stone

fallen with a thump

and look, too, miles beyond

house and garden all

the unknown neighborhood

formed in a single view:

flagstone paths still wet,

sheds cocked by the wind

fencing pushed askew

garden gates unhinged;

till the four o'clock goods train

came out of the earth faroff,

hooting as usual, puffing loud,

trundle of goods wagons

barely imaginable, now seen,

heard quite as usual;

dusk seen too, dusk as usual, still,

as I crept, havering, over the bricks,

wire netting, fences strewn

over cabbages, dead stalks and flowers

as far as the culvert, empty now,

as lights in every house flicked on,

showing families gathering for tea,

I gazed at them unseen, unsure

of where we fitted in. …

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