The coming storm

oldbarn

The sky took on a gray, sentimental look, like a folded dingy photograph of people standing in a cluster, looking unhappy, inviting fate into their doorway. It was a lonely looking sky, that’s the best way to tell it, and the stillness in the air was oppressive. The things I missed, and the things I would miss. Arms around me in bed, the curl of a breeze coming through the morning curtains, smelling like perfume. Those things were behind me now. I didn’t know if there was going to be harsh weather ahead. If not this day, then the next, or the next after that. That was the nature of our lives. But there would be no more picnic lunches and swollen corn. Things had turned too gray for those things, and even if they did come back, I probably wouldn’t notice, because they would be sullied.

I sat at my kitchen table, and waited. For what, I don’t know. For the weather to turn, the wind to start convulsing in the far-off corn fields, the first smell of iron rain. I had two of my old dresses folded on the table, and underwear, a clean bowl and a spoon, and a hurricane lantern. I would wrap my clothes in a towel and then a sturdy blanket. These things were all I needed. A day’s worth of weather was nothing compared to everything else. I could hear the sound of crows in the back field, a dark chorus of noise and upset, harsh music inside this bowl of silence.

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