Relative Storm

In every sense she was the storm.
Days dawned somber – sun or clouds.
Thunderstorms, when they came,
came midday, spawned by taunts
imagined or real: paternal guidance;
maternal reprimands; this filial laughter
provoking threats of sororicide.
These or more or none: the cool air above.
The warmth of her anger rose
rapidly, whirling into the maelstrom
that was her infuriated rage –
her voice was a tornado ripping through our lives…

Tossing us about like uprooted trees. Unable
to withstand the vortex she created, the velocity
of her fury splintered our trust into betrayals.
We ran for shelter from the battering debris:
her words, her deeds, her being.
Each time she swerved back into us –
cowering in our basements, seeking solace
in an inner room without windows.
For years she hovered inclement, fierce, severe.
Her voice was a tornado rupturing our lives,
yet we endured despite exposure,
committed in our duty.

The years remained, accumulated
in corners and unexplored spaces,
until I swept them away
without bluster. Now,
there are seldom storms.
Those that do arise are weak, brief . . .
more a topic of conversation
than cause for cowering, or fleeing.
Here in the harbor of adult life
I am a weather forecaster:
Good at predicting, better at avoiding
storms, even rain drops.

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