People call her strong,
and when she speaks, thunder roars.
From her heart flows a downpour
that drowns and overwhelms
many a landscape.
But within the churning clouds
hides a gentle flicker of light,
each flash and each vein a memory
of past hurts and triumphs
that must be guarded.
She has wandered the earth,
searching for a place to calm her spirit,
and she has almost found it.
Almost and yet not.
Peace lasts mere seconds.
The wind whispers in her ear;
she doesn’t belong, nor is she strong.
The swirling begins again,
uncontrollable and violent.
Wailing, she drifts on.
She doesn’t see a purpose
in her ability to destroy and subdue.
People may admire her beauty,
and stand in awe of her power,
but they flee from her.
She longs to understand
and to be understood to the depths of her vortex.
Why does she exist? Why?
What can she do?
Except make the world more broken.
But as the sun rises
and burns away her fear and confusion,
a sprig pushes through the soil,
nourished by her torrent.
Yet she doesn’t notice him.
The sprig waves and shouts to her.
She gave him life; he wants to thank her.
She needs this love, this joy.
But her own cynicism
obstructs her hearing.
When the sprig grows into a tree,
she passes over him and tears at his branches.
He grabs hold of her long enough
for her to bare her lightning,
illuminating the darkened sky.
For a breath, she pauses,
hears the whistle in his leaves, and wonders,
Why doesn’t he quiver?
What does he seek?
She can cause only injury.
You are strong, he says,
because you replenish the parched rivers;
you deliver the flowers yet unborn.
You test souls
and prove their mettle.
Don’t be ashamed of who you are.
Can’t you see? When the sun crashes into your deluge,
you create a rainbow.
And the explosion of color
reminds onlookers of grace.
Brianna Storm Hilvety is passionate about helping writers achieve their aspirations to captivate and change the world through fiction. At Story Embers, she juggles multiple roles—founding board member, managing editor, and graphics director. She oversees the entire publishing department and its personnel, ensuring that content is processed, edited, scheduled, and posted on the site weekly, as well as superintends the creation of visual elements and organizes writing contests.
In addition to her ongoing work at SE, she’s served a variety of authors, publishers, and writers organizations, such as Gilead Publishing, Castle Gate Press, and Kingdom Pen. Her professional affiliations include gold membership at The Christian PEN, editing certifications from The PEN Institute, and copyediting and proofreading expertise at the Christian Editor Connection.