Guts a Tumble

Sometimes it stalks, hurricane building for days.
Sometimes it slinks, thief in night without warning.

You catch its sweaty stench just before it descends
the way a deer smells danger or sailors perceive storms in the wind.

Meteorologists warn of severe savage weather,
unfocused in its rage, threatening to de-story all in its path:

Shutter windows and reinforce doors – evacuate if you can –
before the wolf huffs, puffs, rips the roof off.

Inventory your inner children to know, once storm surge recedes,
who’s drowned and who can be breathed back into existence.

Lungs suck saturated air, guts a tumble
of trapped rats gnawing their way to freedom.

Fifth grade trauma resurrected: Will they like me? Will they hate me?
Worse, will they not care? Who the hell are “they” anyway?

If only I were an old mug which, thrown against the wall, only dents plaster
but in truth I’m delicate glass that shatters if held too tightly.

For survivors of the onslaught floodwaters prove more insidious,
seeping in from below to soak low lying egos in self doubt.

Those perched precariously on stilts,
hoping to stay above the fracas,

are undermined and washed away.
With luck there may be pieces left to reassemble.

©2019 Kenneth W. Arthur