In Which Raging Weather is a Gift

By ELLEN DORÉ WATSON

 

Despite barriers of rat screen, parge, and tar,
      despite blustering wind in the chimney,
I think I hear something setting up house
      in the cellar. It’s a night to come in
out of. No lamps no heat no water. I could use
      some music to muffle the barely audible
visitor, but I’m low on batteries and despite the wine
      sweating and losing its cool, it’s my eyes
the candlelight has me having—a row of fat-wicked
      flames doing the hula. I’m saying the sky
changed everything at 4:50 pm and I’m not sorry
      I’m sitting in the bounteous dark, here
where it rarely gets worse. Why not hear cellar
      door-rattle as merely wood—or six degrees
of whatever. How material am I to the sky?
      Why should anyone need to decide
whether to be a fearless haunting or a deliberate
      creature, warily, stealthily breathing?

 

Ellen Doré Watson‘s fifth full-length collection is pray me stay eager. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Tin House, Orion, and The New Yorker. She has translated a dozen books from Brazilian Portuguese, including the work of Adélia Prado. Watson served as poetry editor of The Massachusetts Review and director of the Poetry Center at Smith College for decades, and currently offers manuscript editing and workshops online.

[Purchase Issue 23 here.]

In Which Raging Weather is a Gift

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Issue 23 of The Common features work by a wide array of writers from across the globe. Take a look at some of the writing that has inspired them in this month’s round of Friday Reads.