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landslide :: floyd skloot

by on August 21, 2016

A week of rain has brought the hillside
down. They watch from the washed-out
road as their house shudders, slumps
over its open front door, and lowers itself
into the flow, turning from their gaze
like a shy bather. Now a great white oak
that shaded three generations born there
to river life follows the buckling land down.
Its long roots brush the eaves in passing.

They had always understood the language
of storm, knew what cracking foundations,
tilting decks, or the sudden gush of buried
springs meant in a place dry since late June.
They grasped the implication of sodden limbs
visible through widening gaps in the living
room wall. But even when the first windows
bulged and sang with tension, the back door
jammed and power lines snapped, small breaks
in the clouds were enough to keep hope afloat.
Tonight’s forecast is for a gradual clearing
and cold winds coming from the east.


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