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.

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