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Two poems


After Tornado Warnings

Rain, banshee winds, stuttering lightening

slashed the sky all night. An hour ago,

all the drama stopped. Disasters slunk home

not having broken a single window.

When I went to take out the trash just now,

the sky was smooth and rich as an altar cloth,

the air warm, the starts high, bright, vivid

and a full moon stood above my building

white and strong as your hair, my love,

solid as your word, broad and lovely as your back.

And I stood on my steps looking up, wondering

that after all the lashing, high winds, wails of my decades

and after, really, accomplishing so little,

I was given you.

All or None

— for Carolyn Pool

Integrity was never so buoyant

the hand of giving—and of fairness—

never so light, so angled in a joyful

invitation to dance

as with you,

friend.

It wasn’t only in the swirled yellows, greens,

and ochres of your paintings—the African heat

and mysteries of your missionary childhood

that you gave your all, drenched

everyone in your vision.

It was all or nothing with you

in your cooking, your art classes, even

in your day job (the writers you edited

felt they’d been knighted), just as

you gave freely to your children—two

birthed, two adopted. When your mother

invited to visit each summer “just the two

natural ones,” You said, “They’re all

my children. Invite them all or none. “

Carolyn,

you loved like the equatorial sun:

Rays of joy refusing

to leave anyone in shadow.

 

Naomi Thiers grew up in California and Pittsburgh, but her chosen home is Washington-DC/Northern Virginia. She is the author of three poetry collections: Only The Raw Hands Are Heaven (WWPH), In Yolo County, and She Was a Cathedral (both Finishing Line Press.) Her poems, fiction, and essays have been published in Virginia Quarterly Review, Poet Lore, Colorado Review, Grist, Sojourners, and other magazines. Former poetry editor of Phoebe, she works as an editor for Educational Leadership magazine and lives in a condo on the banks of Four Mile Run in Arlington, Virginia.


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