family trips to the house in daytona beach
they'd let me sleep on a cot out on the screened-in back porch
for some reason I slept wonderfully there, in spite of humidity and heat
the occasional train whistle stirring me from sleep
and lulling me back as its sound faded in the distance.
but the thunderstorms, when they came rolling through
i'd wake excitedly
a flash at first and i'd count the seconds,
and then a rumble
because they said you can tell how far away the storm is
by how many seconds it takes
for the sound to catch up to the light.
i'd lie on my cot as the storm grew louder
the sound of rain pounding the pavement outside
and sometimes sideways, coming in
misting my face
strange - i felt secure and safe in the midst of it all
rarely did i ever go inside.
these days, my dog is scared of thunderstorms
he hides up on our bed or presses himself
in the wedge where our two sofas come together
a worried look on his face
but me - i am still entranced
and while i don't sleep out on the porch anymore
there is a sofa and some chairs
and so i'll find my way out there
to see the flash
hear the rumble and rain
and be comforted by
this power that is far
far beyond my own.