My dog show schedule recently took me to Decatur, Alabama. Driving northbound on I-65 in the Birmingham area, I encountered a brief storm. Southbound, toward home, I drove through several small storms but one was particularly dangerous and sudden. To remain calm I tried to think of words to describe the experience.
Tiny water balloons bombed my car,
Plops of water thrown on the windshield,
Dropped from above by an invisible hand.
Cars in the distance,
Red break lights glimmered,
As the traffic entered the blinding wall of rain.
The wet wrath flooded us all.
Danger from the sky.
Forcing all to drive together as one
Held captive by a dark cloud,
Until released together into the sun’s embrace.
Leaving only the blacktop as a steamy reminder
Of the summer storm.
I watched almost in a trance,
At the changing faces of the clouds off in the distance.
A whip of lightning punished the earth;
The dark clouds were spread out like a theatre screen
The car’s tires sang on the dry road,
Until a clumsy angel’s quilting needles,
Fell from the sky.
Hundreds of her pins,
Hit the metal car’s roof and bounced off onto the road,
A delicate, wet deluge.
The tires grabbed at the now slippery ground,
Going round and round,
Galloping toward nature’s dark tunnel ahead.
The storm saw the car,
Then turned and unleashed its fury of wind and rain,
Covering, punishing, whipping the car.
Lightning lashed to the left,
While a thunderous tuba played above,
Shaking the car and the hearts inside.
The tires tried to follow the road’s white line,
But the painted trail appeared and disappeared,
As water flushed from a heavenly dam,
Proved that nature is stronger,
Than man or man-made.
Mile after mile of torrential terror.
The storm played with the car as if it were a toy,
Until the grey-black demon turned east,
A dragon still hungry and now off to chase more prey,
Leaving behind it signature pools;
Mirrors to the changing sky.
If you look real hard you will see words,
Written in the lingering clouds,
A warning, a boast.
The storm will return another summer afternoon.
To play with your fears and hearts.