Part of the mythos of the Chosen One…
is that they must be alone.
~Aliette de Bodard
The neighbors say she’s going to die.
Eventually one of them will call for an arborist
to cut her down. But until then, I take
my coffee in bed on weekends so I can look
at her out the window—the long stripe
where the lightning blew off her bark,
and all around it, the mottling.
She’s not like the others anymore
and it seems only fair that I get to say
the same for myself. Her moment
of choosing so random only a god
could be responsible. That same moment,
my near miss—a late night bath, rain
tapping at the skylight, and of course thunder—
There I was, I can say to anyone
who wants to know how white the flash,
how sharp the crack. Listen, I say, it moved
through the walls all around the conduit
of my wet body.
In being spared, am I not also touched?
And so in the telling, lightning graces
my tongue, details shooting from my fingernails,
my hair smoking and curling, and you coughing
a little now at the scent of me burning.
Look, I say, lifting my skirt to show
the flayed streak up my leg. So much I can bear,
they would measure it in volts.
Go on, while there’s still time—
Lay your head on my chest. Hea
what it’s done to my heart.
About the writer:
Anna Weaver writes as a former soldier, a mind imprinted under Oklahoma sky, and a woman “with loyalties scattered over the landscape.” Her poems have appeared in Connotation Press, O-Dark-Thirty, One, and elsewhere—earning nominations for the Pushcart and other prizes. She has performed her poetry in 27 states.
Image: “Winter Pine Wood near Lake Kratovskoe in the Ramensky District, Moscow Oblast, Russia” by Alecks G. January 9, 2012. With permission.