After dark, barbarian winds stormed around
The house and lightning lit up windows
Everywhere; rain ricocheted across
The roof, against the vinyl siding. We stayed
In bed until it passed, then fell asleep.
We never looked out back.
It first, in light softly redefining what
We thnk we know for sure—our tulip poplar,
Planted jointly when our love was new,
Had lost its top, the upper trunk and limbs
Lopped off and flung awkwardly over chairs
Akimbo on the deck.
Upstairs, you saw
Sky start to blush and heard the sweet birds sing,
Battening down their broken nests.