by Mantz Yorke

No hiding from it.  That Sunday night

I had to ride the forty miles, reckoning

I’d outrun the storm grumbling up behind.

Ambushed at half way, I pedalled on

along the streaming road, trying to ignore

lightning cracking the dark above my head.

Not like when, aged six, I dashed indoors

at the first strike, scrambled under a table

and cowered under dad’s copy of The Times;

nor, teenaged, hiding under the sheets,

face pressed into the pillow, drenched

in a sweat I’ve not experienced since.

Today I’m a hermit crab in a metal shell

beside the Everglades’ sawgrass, watching

an inky bruise suffuse the sky.  A kris

slashes potassium-light once, twice, thrice,

before pelting rain degenerates a van Gogh

landscape of tan and indigo to dun and grey.

On a high, I restart the car and travel on.

Mantz Yorke lives in Manchester, England. He trained as a metallurgist before becoming a science teacher and researcher. His poems have appeared in a number of print magazines, anthologies and e-magazines in the UK, Ireland, the US, and Hong Kong.