Lightning Flash

You used to eat everything with your fingers.

It grossed me out,

and now it is one of the things I remember most about you.

I’ve often thought, since you’ve been gone,

that your inner rebel led you everywhere

with no heed for how you ended up.

I hated her and loved her at the same time.

She was hard and dangerous and mean.

She was funny, adventurous and loyal.

I never knew if we became friends because you liked me,

or because your rebel recognized that no one else did.

That day in the hallway of my new reservation high school,

I was caught in transition, so lost I could barely speak,

and you stepped up, told your friend to leave me alone,

after she started lobbing insults my way from her comfortable spot on the rez, in her school, surrounded by her buddies.

Maybe you did that because you felt bad for me

or maybe you did it simply because no one thought you would.

I didn’t care, I was glad to be left alone.

You still didn’t speak to me for a year after that.

And then for two years you almost killed me every other day

with your promise to be my friend forever.

That night we left Montana….

the biggest thunderstorm I’d ever seen slashed lightning across the sky,

exposing miles of prairie in brilliant flashes

surrounding our tiny car pulled over into a ditch.

The hail pelted the windshield

and as we raced to cover it with a blanket

For a moment, after that clap of thunder that was so loud I felt it in my rain soaked bones,

we looked across at each other’s young faces

and each of us felt strong enough to leave,

to weather the storm.

The day I heard you died,

I sat in the glare of the August sun

sobbing while my husband cut my hair.

That inner rebel, with her natural tendency to resist

took you places you could never come back from

and I miss hearing you laugh.



This is my submission for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night 114, a place where poetry is shared and enjoyed by people from all over the world!  Stop by and submit or read!



12 thoughts on “Lightning Flash

  1. dreamersteve says:

    shit that was damn beautiful..

  2. SSMatthews says:

    A moving and well written piece. The tone is controlled with care and consistency. The pacing of images and revelation is also handled with great care and consideration. I like this a lot, but mostly for its content. We all struggle through life, but what is sad is that so many go about it blindly, never achieving the romance that is before us nor the depths to which we are capable of feeling. Exquisite!

  3. claudia says:

    oh wow…this is just wonderful…love how you make us feel her…love how you tell the story…love all the emotions so clearly felt… very cool

  4. hisfirefly says:

    the pain of loss runs deep here
    may peace and comfort reign just as deep

  5. Mary says:

    Wow, this IS a poem. I was with you all the through it, felt every word, every twist of emotion. Sounds like a complex relationship, but one which you now really miss. It is hard to lose someone who has had such an impact on your life. Truly evocative writing.

  6. Sadness and loss…heartfelt. and your words are beautifully written well.

  7. brian miller says:

    dang…solid piece…wonderful story telling..the emotions in this are strong and i felt her death as well….

  8. love, loss and sadness beautifully penned.

  9. This……. is what a love poem looks like! Silence and tears….. Beautifully done.

  10. kelly says:

    I can feel that longing in your words, beautifully done.

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