We settled to great small talk on the back porch
Despite green skies and scratchy radio warnings;
The beer was cold and the rain came down in sheets
To simmer a stew in the gutters — Texas summer
Was wild with the life of a single weather pattern.
We smoked it, talked it, and drank away the hours…
But your life was revolving one way, off-kilter,
With crazy winds dividing and threading through
Your attention to studies, love and betrayal.
And I was turned another way, tearing up and away
From Dallas — though at that moment friendship,
A loose roof shingle wavering in the gale, adhered.
Joseph O’Brien was born in Freehold, New Jersey, and lives on a homestead with his wife and eight children in rural Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin. He currently works as a staff writer for The Catholic Times, newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of La Crosse, and as a freelance writer. He has published three volumes of verse with Stone Silo Press and his poems have appeared in a number of literary journals. “Cataracts and Hurricanoes” is from Departure at Hebrus, forthcoming from Korrektiv Press. The author’s photograph is by Gordon Browning. The poem is published by permission.