The crash shakes
jewelry boxes on the dresser and the wall behind me; entrapment
enters my bones and I sink
deeper into my pillow and blanket, a little crevice
of peace, holding me together
like a broken toy
and a child pushing the pieces
together, for only a second,
until it is dropped.

Flashes of light slide
between the slats of the blinds,
Nature’s sinister fingers creeping in,
and I feel my heart
stroke my chest, grab my ribs.
I count to 10, and the shrill crash reverberates,
like the sky is splitting open
or the refrigerator fell in the kitchen,
I thought once
when I was younger.

Night chirps and rustles
become terrifying and
make me descend further
into the crevice in my bed.
If I could be young again,
it would be easier to crawl
into my mother’s bed,
and let the storm pass.

The bedside clock shines on,
unafraid, not dimming or slowing down
time.  Hours slink by,
first one, then two, then four.
I’ll be tired tomorrow, but the thunder keeps me awake.

By 4:55 my fatigue almost overtakes my fear,
but my eyelids won’t fully shut.
I lay on, count the seconds away.
Another flash and 20 go by — the storm has moved on,
20 miles away, a safe enough distance
for me to attempt sleep.


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