it’s true sometimes I cannot
stop myself from spilling
unpetalling apple blossoms raiding
making off with napkins I’m nothing
until I happen
flipping an umbrella outside-in
throwing its owner
into a fumble
pelting the avenue with sleet or dust
at times downtown
riding over galleries of air
so full of high excitement howling
I borrow an old woman’s hat
and fling it into the road
arriving with news of the larkspur
and the bumblebee
at times embracing you so lightly
in ways you don’t even register
This delightful poem by James Arthur was written in Al Purdy’s old A-frame in Ontario. It caught my attention today because the wind Jon and I met yesterday was a bit more than mildly mischievous. I’ll let you decide.
Yes, the wind was “riding over galleries of air/
so full of high excitement howling” when we drove in. Both of us kind of like storms. But it was the unearthly rumble that caught our attention: in retrospect, we should have run but we didn’t, just standing there agape in horror as the elderly butternut next door groaned before depositing a third of itself onto our garage ten feet away. Somehow it missed the Prius, concentrating its aim at the garage where it poked a bony finger through the roof. The whitewater canoe may or may not be totalled; we can’t get close enough to ask it.
So, yes, we definitely registered this wind as a "touch."
Granted, the neighbourhood is somewhat inured to watching the post-mature black locusts out near the street topple forward but the impending loss of any precious old butternut is discouraging after all the work we went to this summer to preserve its siblings. Good grief, only hours earlier Jon and I were dutifully rebanding our trees in anticipation of the fall cankerworm season.
Even so, to tell you the truth, we do still like windstorms. But not quite as much. And best observed from a treeless field.