local_library Charley, 2004

by KJ Roby

Published in Issue No. 209 ~ October, 2014
Charley, 2004 (after Mary Oliver)


The winds arrived like no
wind I’d previously experienced.
Non-flying squirrels flew.
My son stood angled, laughing,
as it flattened his clothing,
parted his hair. Afterwards, the neighbors
emerged carefully,
stepping over limbs, climbing around
downed power lines, calling to each
other – sharing stories over
grilled meats in a communal meal
as they hurried to cook all that thawed.
Men roamed the streets like
Hollywood monsters, waving
their gas-powered chainsaws, and clearing
driveways. We waved
to trashmen, to linemen
from far away states, and for once
didn’t complain when
the yardmen powered up their
noisy blowers. The story took over our lives;
we forgot anniversaries
and television, bills and homework.
We wondered why we’d never shared a meal
with that family next-door, and promised
to continue the trend. We conserved
our cash, restricted our driving, and
sat on our porches to capture
a breeze, nodding to explorers
counting houses under trees. But then
the power came on, and
We went back inside.


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K.J. Roby just sent her only son off to college and is thrilled to have found something to focus on other than an empty-nest. She is a native Floridian and tries to spend as much time as possible reading and writing. Her writing has been published in Newsletter for Writers and Defenestrationism where she won 2nd prize and was a fan favorite in their 2013 Short Story contest.