Fall 2013: Issue 94

John Hoppenthaler

                                                                              —Washington, NC

A quick stop at Food Lion for beer & whole wheat buns,

then Hog Heaven for pints of barbecue, baked beans,


& slaw. Idling in the take-out lane, I’m taken

by gangrenous clouds closing fast from the east.


In Beaufort County, storms are upon us in minutes; roiling

cells shear through the skillet-flat fields of tobacco & cotton.


In lightning’s flicker, the family plots of farmers appear

visited by God. They startle me like you do, dear, like


cumulonimbus on the horizon. Come gather after; slip

your hand into my pocket & kiss my sunburned neck.


Recite with me again the capricious

                                               nature of our Carolina weather.