Jo Angela Edwins: A Woman, Married a Year, Is Struck by Lightning

while doing nothing special, walking to her car
or checking her mail, and there isn’t a cloud in the sky,
but electricity wanted her, and now no one does.

She glows like starlight. Every muscle crackles
at the slightest twitch. Her baffled husband,
who loves her deeply, is afraid now
of her power, or perhaps more afraid.

Her mother can tell she isn’t a daughter anymore.
There is nothing left to teach her. The mad circuits
of her brain flash faster than revelation.
Her father, who quietly wished she’d been a boy,
is glad now she wasn’t, as he senses the boy
would not have survived. Still, her fingers fly
through every task. He can think of nothing to say.

For her part, she’s glad she has no child.
She wonders what a child would take on
each time she latched to her breast. Something more,
she knows, than nourishment. And there will never
be a child now. The husband, in awe,
is still in love but moves farther away each night.
He sleeps in the spare bedroom,
a space that soon will also be too close.
He’ll inch through hallways, in time down the steps,
through parlor and bathroom and kitchen, his heart beating
with a weary passion, his eyes cast over his shoulder
as his hand turns the knob on the back door.

she will lie in bed, the room shining as always.
She’ll hear as if beside her his measured breathing,
and she will know that she will miss him, but she will make do.
Her tongue, blue as her open eyes, won’t speak a word.




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