A cloud-charged sky
short-circuits a daisy chain
triggered by infra-red,
bringing lightning first, then the thunder.
And in between the two, the burning
strike path clear, each vein mapping effect
unseen till moment of impact
outside the recruiting station, within a burqa's
black billowy folds, along a clay-dusted road,
under bushels of purple eggplant and green squash
just wheeled to market.
The aim is always for the softer side,
disruption and melee both, time-delayed to hit
the team poised and rushing in for the rescue.
It doesn't have to be close to be effective.
Sometimes the most lasting damage
stores up inside, an unconventional hot zone
of reaction to the elements,
a mind forever trip-wiring tactics in dreams
shaping a charge, calling in for support,
imagining the kill.
© 2010 Maureen E. Doallas. All Rights Reserved.
I wrote this poem for Carry on Tuesday, which each week provides a prompt that participants are to use wholly or partly in an original poem or prose piece.
The prompt for Tuesday, July 20, comes from the first line of Samantha Hunt's 2008 novel The Invention of Everything Else: "Lightning first, then the thunder. And in between the two. . . ." Hunt is also the author of The Seas, which was shortlisted for an Orange Prize for fiction. She is a winner of a "5 under 35" National Book Award.
To read other Carry on Tuesday contributors' poems or prose for Prompt #62, go here.