Jan. 8: In the dark

for Dickie

Aren’t we all? I hear him say,
and I protest, No!

It’s one of the great benefits
of living within shouting distance
of three hospitals—no matter
the storm, power’s never out for long.

But last night, shortly before a
new day, as the winds tore through
our bare trees like a raging bully,
as I sat at the computer ready
to post a poem, I heard a great pop!
and then darkness, and I sat quiet
for a minute, absorbing, alone.

Each storm is unique, of course,
and we sitting ducks weather them
as they come, these atmospheric
rivers, one after another, washing
over us, filling our thirsty rivers,
making the near-empty reservoirs
rise muddy and choppy.

When just enough becomes too much,
we fret. We must clean up after each
storm while preparing for the next.
Down H Street in daylight, I see the tree
that crashed through its fence, blocking
the road, taking out power lines
and pole 12 hours earlier.

You’re not without power, Janis,
says the one to whom I migrate,
electronic devices in hand,
all of us in need of recharging.

You’re without electricity,
he reminds me.
You have the power.

And so I do, taking to the page,
to write it all down so as
not to forget the gift. Again.

36th and H streets, Sacramento, Jan. 8, 2023 / Photo by Jan Haag
Poor tree and house, 36th and H streets, Sacramento, Jan. 8, 2023 / Photo by Jan Haag

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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