Take Shelter – Akua Lezli Hope

I would not be the wife insisting you be normal
I would know that you were having nightmares
I would fight the rabid dogs that bite you in your dreams
and tell you how to handle the bad boss as I did
and role play so you could overcome
craven colleagues and bumbling bureaucrats

I would put toilet paper and chocolate in the shelter
your favorite blue wool sweater, music and dried fruit
notebooks and sketch pads,  crayons and pens
food to be resuscitated with bottle water

you could tell me

for I listened to the birds before dawn
passing the word, and heard the whip
of many wings beating the opaque sky
where clouds drew warnings and wept

and I know that there’s a monster storm coming

‘cause I’ve seen it too, beloved,
I’ve seen it too,
clear as day

Akua Lezli HopeAkua Lezli Hope is a creator and wisdom seeker who uses sound, words, fiber, glass, metal, and wire to create poems, patterns, stories, music, sculpture, and peace. A third generation New Yorker, her honors include the NEA, two NYFAs, an SFPA award, Rhysling, Elgin, and Pushcart Prize nominations, among others.