Two by Two
by Ann Howells

Storms scour Fort Worth, I watch them
on channel 5: chunky, amorphous shapes
sweeping east in shades of hot pink, deep red,
purple. gutters gargle madly, drains gulp
the brown river roiling with crumpled bags,
wrappers, cups. Traffic proceeds tentatively,
single-file through deep-water intersections,
blinking red lights.

Across the street people gather beneath
a bookstore's striped awning, purchases
gathered to their breasts; a woman
removes open-toe pumps, secures them
in a carryall, dashes for the bus in stocking feet.
Umbrellas bob: red, yellow, black.

Clouds like underbellies of shaggy ponies
drag rooftops; air smells of wet leaves.
Sirens scream, golf-ball-size hail predicted.
A lone taxi pulls to the curb; you step into
sheeting silver, newspaper tented above your head,
mount stairs two by two, shaking rain
from your hair and laughing, laughing.

Copyright 2024 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.