The pressure drops, the anxious
spin before the storm. Trees lose
what they can’t hold, limbs
crack, bring down vines, ferns explode
and send a squawk up the valley.
All of this is swallowed
by the howling. Behind the timber barn,
the girls huddle. Their udders and fearful eyes
wait until tomorrow. Stump to stump, Bernie
crosses the field to the rattling cottage,
inside, smoke billows
each gust back down the chimney.
Twenty miles west,
below the top of the plateau,
John escapes through a cabin window,
into the rain, pulls out two others
before the engine fuel
takes them all.