local_library Gathering Storm

by Spencer Smith

Published in Issue No. 248 ~ January, 2018

Elm branches gesture a warning to us

in the sign language of sea anemones

as ocean currents of air eddy around us,

floating a flotsam of leaves;

grass stalks, heedless, perform calisthenics

unsynchronized to the beat of a lone shutter

spanking the white clapboard behind us.


Shadows vulture-circle above us,

swooping over the light like an old drop cloth,

frayed at the edges, trailing wisps of unsewn strands

through the salt marsh sky. There is silence

for the space of a single deep breath,

then a distant moan of despair, a sudden weeping,

and a sound like the paper crackle of a discarded draft.

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Spencer Smith is a University of Utah graduate and works in the corporate world to pay the bills that poetry doesn’t pay (i.e., all of them). His work has appeared in over forty literary journals, including Main Street Rag, Potomac Review, Plainsongs, RHINO, and Roanoke Review.