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Robin Gow

I am a girl of lightning rods, purple carrot-root
veins and counting the seconds after the flash

1.
My father taught me about love
in a lighting storm.
We sat on the metal porch
and my mom said to come inside
because she knows that my father
and I are lighting rods–
There was a yellow-jacket nest that
scattered like refugees
There was fire in the sting
of the rain drops–
There was a bolt that snapped like
celery and barbecue chips
and my hair dangled drenched
over my face like dead leaves.

2.
My father taught me about love
in a lightning storm.
We drove his blue jeep into the
downpour as soon as the lights
in the house started to flicker
and ground quivered– shivered–
with every sliver of slick
silver that descended from
a sky we only said was heaven
on Sundays. I asked my dad if
God would strike us down and
he said that he’d never been
that lucky– and he laughed
so that I knew he was half-kidding.
Drove into the fields–
stood like lighting rods
and watched God sting the earth
with purple-carrot veins–
and the corn thrashed like neck hairs.

3.
My father taught me about love
in a lighting storm.
“1, 2, — it’s so close” he said.
“Should we go inside?”
“No.” and we sat on orange paint
buckets in the garage
between flat-tire bicycles
he taught me how to ride and
collapsed hula-hoops that
were used for dragon circuses
and sorcery. We say nothing else.
Watch the rain make a dead sea
of our drive way– we can
swim in paddle boats
made of black Chuck Taylors–
And then comes the flash again–
and they’re taking our picture
like two poets meeting
in a cafe to discuss each other’s egos.
And he’s a better writer but
I’m the one who writes.

1.
My father taught me about love in a lighting storm.
2.
My father taught me nothing about what comes after the flash.
3.
Neither of us bother much with thunder. We like celery
and barbecue chips and we snap like carrot-roots.
4.
And then the thunder.