Thunder and lightning hit the streets and –
those sodium cowards who never permit
the dead to sleep nor, for that cold, dark matter,
the living – the street lights
blink on and off in useless surprise.

The church bells ring all four quarters
and a solitary, redundant one, as if to compete,
but the thunder steals the show:
which of these the voice of God?

I know she hates the lightning,
fears the ghastly flare that bleaches the fields
beyond the empty framing windows:
I should have been there
but cannot be.

So we are linked only by the jagged rips of light
and the wet lanes under the prowling thunder;
keeping low, the heart caught in the crossfire,
the faithless, like me, are prised from their beds
to sit, to watch, to admire, to regret.

The storm, a caravan of circus tricks, passes on;
the laid waste streets lie scrubbed and clean,
but not me, not me.

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