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Storm Watch

by Janet Kiplinger

10 pm and the river opens up
to spring storms.
A city ripped up just west
of here.
It’s april
and there’s still a chance of frost.
Seasons on this side
of the globe shift—
summer comes late and stays late.

I guess I want to bear children,
but I just wander through the house all day,
smelling wet manure on the neighbor’s lawn.
At 11 the forecast
changes and a cold front moves in.
When the wind flares up
I crack the windows
at each end of the house.

But I’ve never had a child.
I swell up each month with water
and nothing else. Not royalties,
not bills from foreign hotels.

I meant to say all this bluntly.
Like: the rain washed my garden downhill.
I was going to mention the labor of childbirth, blood,
the afterbirth wetting the bed.
Maybe the seasons around me come at different times;
I don’t care.
If I knew what I wanted to say
I wouldn’t have come to this.


Janet Kiplinger tells us that she is currently a graduate student at San Francisco State. (Spring 1975)

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