Prose & Poetry

Irma Came to Town

Pop POP!

The cat scattered, but the fan remained on

POP

And then wound down to not

One more

POP

For good measure

 

After an excruciating week of playing Will She/Won’t She, Hurricane Irma reached out her powerful arm, flicked out the lights, and announced her arrival. Only minutes before, she’d gussied up into her 4-Star dress and let us know she was ready to party.

 

But I was asleep. It was 4 AM.

 

After the cat calmed down, and the roomies checked on me, I dug deeper into my borrowed king-sized bed fit for a queen and listened to the rain dripping and hard-driving against the aluminum storm shutters. I had commented on day 3 of our self-imposed quarantine that I wished they made clear storm shutters, so that I would feel safer – in the same way I feel in complete control of the plane when the shade is up for take-off.

 

POP

 

I had been awaiting Irma’s arrival, muscles tensed, and teeth clenched, as she rollicked and bounced the houses off the Caribbean Islands. I thought she had worn herself out, but she was just taking a disco nap, so she could murderously rage her way through town.

Officially without lights or air conditioning, I whispered a prayer that my body would follow my sleepy brain’s longing for rest and not writing. Instead, my haze took me to the raging Texas rainstorm I weathered years before with my then- stepson and husband. The plink on the shutters sounded like the tic-tap on the tin roof of our hotel. I nodded in and out, grin on my face, wishing the neighbors would power the house I was in, too.

The neighbors’ generators whirred to life, and diesel exhaust perfumed the musty air. Irma was busy gyrating, sweating, spinning around with her hot, spittle breath, in a way that said she intended to party for a just a little while, and did we have a lampshade she could borrow.

 

As quickly as she came, she faded to memory, my body went slack, and I was able to

Pop POP

the air from my joints and relax.

One more

POP

For good measure.

irma came to visit - the hurricane on the prowl

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