(response to Michael Parker's December 7 call for poems in reaction to a photo of Mammatus clouds)
These decisions that come
hard as a whore's breath,
fast as a fall face-down
onto an unforgiving walkway.
My never born son's curled fetal
body lies hammocked in multiples
in the Mammatus clouds hanging,
like guilt, over my cowering rooftop.
They remind me that one slide-trombone
moment can mean either a uterus
sucked dry as an old sock or
a newborn's long screaming ride
down to a mother's quiet lullaby
and bluebells, yet to be picked.
Mammatus are pouch-like cloud structures and a rare example of clouds in sinking air. Sometimes very ominous in appearance, mammatus clouds are harmless and do not mean that a tornado is about to form; a commonly held misconception. In fact, mammatus are usually seen after the worst of a thunderstorm has passed. For more information, read HERE