David Axelrod


(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

  1. 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.