I am a worrier by nature. I have a slight pain in my back – could it be cancer? I hear a creak in my car – will it explode in the middle of the highway? I’m in line to buy tickets to a movie – oh, hurry! they might sell out before I get there!
I feel as if I am sensing a wrinkle in the darkness, certain that the thing to follow will be a wind to blow the roof off of my house. How fortunate I am that it does not, that my house is as safe as houses. How is it that one roof gets blown off and then with every breeze I must duck my head?
There must be a middle ground between vigilance and apathy, something to keep me safe, but not shut away. Perhaps ducking beneath an upturned boat is not the best measure of safety in a storm, but it will do.
In this moment of this poem the sensing of a storm, though frightening, is also beautiful – the wrinkle in the darkness across the bay, the spread of the damp air chill through the feet, the first sounding of raindrops. All evoke a strange, chilling beauty and a sense of trepidation, being there, being frightened with the poet. But not to worry, it is only a page and really just a passing storm; you’ll survive.
Waiting for the Storm
by Timothy Steele
Breeze sent a wrinkling darkness
Across the bay. I knelt
Beneath an upturned boat,
And, moment by moment felt
The sand at my feet grow colder,
The damp air chill and spread.
Then the first raindrops sounded
On the hull above my head.