(Two major hurricanes strafed Massachusetts’ coast in 1954, only the
second year that women’s names were officially used to designate hurricanes.)
was my first, right after
my eleventh birthday. I met her
at the beach, a surf tumultuous
enough to toss the diving raft
on shore, reminding me how
I thought I’d drown proving
I could swim way out to it.
But it was Edna, a month later,
who gave me her fierce gift.
She felled the playground
castles where I warred all
summer; salting the reflecting
pond where pollywogs tickled
my toes and rose blossoms
at its edges smelled like my
Ma’s perfume. All that destruction,
an ocean lashing my shore; even
granite seawalls couldn’t protect
- Since then, hurricanes excite
me as surely as some people
feel guilty after a climax.
DR DAVID B AXELROD was Suffolk County’s and is now Volusia County, Florida, Poet Laureate appointed for 2015-2023. He’s been published in hundreds of magazines, anthologies; twenty-two books of poetry—the newest, All Vows: New & Selected Poems. Read more about him at his website: www.poetrydoctor.org.