March 7, 1993


Lying still, eyes closed, I feel
rather than see the flash, sense
the change in tones
of light across my eyelids.
I begin the unconscious
counting, waiting
for the ringing thunder --
one one-thousand
two one-thousand
three --
wondering where it hit,
like scanning the sky for the end
of a rainbow -- do they ever simply fall
somewhere, like a gift in someone's lawn,
a ribbon left untied, dangling loose?
The thunder comes at last,
I have lost count, and somewhere
is a tree, burned to the roots, or a house,
walls left singing by the blast, sockets flashing
brief flame. Now I am unable to sleep, awed --
fearful of the burns -- I listen, wait,
to feel-see the last blast, the final
knocking of the storm.

© Jessica Minier Mabe