Storm’s A’Comin’

by CARRIE OEDING

Friends, we are not asking for the story, let’s put our best hats on as everyone is asking for trouble, no, for pineapple to be exotic fruit again. We all know what happened to Dean, and the afternoon clouds are just asking for trouble. So there’s a story about Dean and one about a funny hat, a favorite hat flying off in the wind, even though the storm hasn’t come yet. Someone’s mom has gout or a goat— it’s hard to hear above the wind. Maureen and Steve were married. Darrell and Louise were married. Maureen and Steve had a house, had no money, so both couples shared the home and soon traded spouses. We knew it would happen because Maureen liked pineapple. Now Maureen and Darrell and Louise and Steve . . . ah . . . Who cares if it’s realistic or not? If you really care you’re asking for trouble. Darrell cares about what will happen to his beach house he can’t afford to build. Either Steve or Louise care, yes he or she really does. No, the afternoon clouds aren’t asking for trouble, they’re gonna be trouble. Dean’s leaving town, there isn’t a reason; Tallahassee is having its worst tropical storm since 1993, but we all know why he’s really gone. No one wonders where Amy is— we know she’s on the pier waiting for the wind to be a story. Oh Amy, how many times have we heard your tales of how close you’ve come to death! She loves to shout to the not-yet storm, You don’t know what’s gonna happen either! Such words, Amy, such words you can use, but where’s the story? Where is Dean? He’s never heard of Amy but how he pines for her back turned against the yet-to-be-hit land. Somewhere Dean is forever driving from Florida, not thinking of the storm, but shaking his head, That’s the way things go, that’s the way, just singing this song that’s like a song, but not one really.

CARRIE OEDING’s work has appeared in such places as DIAGRAM, BREVITY, Colorado Review, Best New Poets, and many others. She has a Ph.D. in creative writing from Ohio University. Her first manuscript has been a semi-finalist for a number of book contests such as the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize and the Brittingham and Pollack Poetry Awards.