Annemieke Cloosterman CC
My brother and I watch “The Price is Right”
in the playroom, an uneasy truce between us,
the TV table he threw at me two years before
resting in its metal cradle. I teased him so often, he
lost control. The window’s open, the air weighted
with coming rain. The bushes green, so green,
Upstate N.Y. Emerald. The rumble and clap of thunder
sounds a starting gun. We see silver sheets release
and look at one another. “Let’s go,” we say.
We shed our shoes and run out the screen door
into the waterfall, the pounding so loud we must
shout to hear our voices. Laugh and barefoot splash
around the block, the lawns giant green sponges
squishing under toes, shorts and T-shirts plaster
like second skins. The storm is medicine that heals
us. The gutters are rapids, rivers, we crash through.
Back home, I grab the green towel and hand
it to him. “Remember how Mom used to be afraid
to leave us alone together,” I ask? We grin
at the storm that passed between us.
Ellen Austin-Li’s work has appeared in Artemis, Thimble Literary Magazine, The Maine Review, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Rust + Moth, and other places. Her two chapbooks were published by Finishing Line Press--Firefly (2019) and Lockdown: Scenes From Early in the Pandemic (2021). She is a Best of the Net nominee. She earned an MFA in Poetry at the Solstice Low-Residency Program. Ellen lives with her husband in a newly empty nest in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find more of her work at www.ellenaustinli.me.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.