The Wait

The worst part was waiting in this uncanny limbo.

We were sitting prey for the storm to come.

With my scuffed boots and unshaven legs attached to a body clothed in pajamas, it seemed as if we had been scrambling to put ourselves together when in reality, we had all the time in the world.

Because we were just waiting.

Although we sat in silence, all of us discussed weariness with our eyes.

As each pound of thunder rattled our bones, the dogs shook their cages from side to side in unease and discomfort.

And then the rain began.

Tic tac tic tac on the windows, or what was now plywood boards covering holes of what used to be.

The weatherman on screen boasted his educated guesses that echoed through our empty house:

“Dallas County will be seeing heavy rain and lightning but at this time no warnings.”

If there is one thing I had learned, it was that a home is a house but a house can never replace a home.

From the top of the stairwell, I felt like God looking over everyone’s shoulders into their most personal thoughts.

Tic tac tic tac.

My mother was held entranced to the radar with tears welled in her eyes while my sister kept quiet with games on her phone.

Both just waiting.

But let me guess: you think you know what waiting is?

I’m sure you sat at a restaurant table and ‘waited’ for your food to come.

Or maybe you sat in the ‘waiting room’ of your doctor’s office impatiently?

No, that’s not waiting.

You don’t know waiting until you have the thin skeletal claws of fear grasp your already tense shoulders and whisper sweet reminders of what is futile to come.

That, my friends, is waiting.

Tic tac tic tac.

The most fearful part lies in the absolute beauty of the sky right before; the deep silence when the threat is most imminent; knowing right before it happens that it will in fact happen.

Then the power flickered.

Tic tac tic tac.

Our chests tightened *breathes in* and released *exhales* in unison.

False alarm.

We are still waiting.

My ears pinged with every creak of the house in eager alertness for the sirens to let loose.

It was the only thing keeping us between waiting and going.

Then the wind strengthened.

Tic tac tic tac.

Weatherman says the storm is moving 35 mph and we were ten miles away.

“Give it about 15 minutes to reach your area.”.

Still waiting.

Tic Tac Tic Tac.

One by one the family peeled off into the bathroom; retiring into the safe place.

Thunder knocked on our doors.

Tic Tac Tic Tac.

I finally glanced at the radar: dark red lined the city limits.

Tic Tac Tic Tac.

Fear overcame my bodily inhibitions.

I ducked beneath those unconditional blankets of safety; I closed my eyes.

Tic Tac Tic Tac.

And then suddenly just as quick as it had grown, it was gone.

The wait was over.


This poem is about: 
My family


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