She loved the fevered air, the green delirium
in the leaves as a late wind whipped and quickened--
a storm cloud glut with color like a plum.
Nothing could keep her from the fields then,
from waiting braced alone in the breaking heat
while lightning flared and disappeared around her,
thunder rattling the windows. I remember
the stories I heard my relatives repeat
of how spirits spoke through her clearest words,
her sudden eloquent confusion, trapped eyes,
the storms she loved because they were not hers:
her white face under the unburdening skies
upturned to feel the burn that never came:
that furious insight and the end of pain.

-Christian Wiman


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