And There Is A Storm And Here Is A Cat



After the midnight bell, the battered
book closed, flame of the inherited
candle snuffed, we recover

from stifling night, erasing radical
dream-dyes we will never share
(though not because we are secretive)

and we remember I’ve just returned
from my coveted north where, I confess,
I met a locust on the beach.

Who told you (you ask), meaning
who accompanied me
as I would not know a locust

if it hit me in the face.
My sister (I confess) con-
firmed it. Silence.

We know, you and I
(sheer books warn us),
my sister is a Sybil, simply

ancient and (because you have seen
for yourself) we are in awe
of her layered visions. Locust

(I say). Buzzing up from grey sand.
Deserted beach. Deadbeat ocean. Bug.
My scream…Now that (you say)

I can imagine. You refer
to the small garden spider
high on our bedroom’s

most viewed wall, once, cupped
by me with a see-through plastic con-
tainer it bashed its tiny hideous dark

body against, panel
to panel, quick and hard
as I screamed, watching

my finest methods destroy
life. Perhaps you held me
afterwards and I’ve forgotten.

Perhaps the locust on ghastly
beach was not affirmed
by our Sybil as a sign

and we know why we lie un-
der things, shaded and ravenous—
lost to time.

About PB Rippey

Writer, wife, mother, grateful. Fiction, memoir, poetry, kidlit (MG), member SCBWI.
This entry was posted in Fiction, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to And There Is A Storm And Here Is A Cat

  1. PB Rippey says:

    Thanks, Beth. Um–the spiders falling onto bed??? Would have grayed my hair, would have left me lungless from screaming. You are brave. Glad the netting worked, damn right tuck it in.

  2. Beth Hull says:

    I love your poems.
    And must admit, the caption on the locust photo made me laugh out loud.
    As for spiders, I have a series of sucky college poems all about being terrified of spiders. At the time, I was living in a converted garage and they’d fall from the paneled ceiling onto my bed. I had to buy one of those princess-bed-mosquito-net-thingies, but instead of draping the net artfully over my bed, I tucked it in at the sides like they do in the jungle.

    • Marko says:

      This is good, in my humble opinion. One of the most beautiful sights I have seen was the inside of an abandoned boathouse. In the deep dark of night flipping the light switch. The power was still on after years. It lighted up thousands of spider webs and their shadows and the shadows shadows.

Words do not escape you

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