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Talk About the Weather

04.30.18 Posted in today's words by

Judith Askew lives and writes in Cotuit, Massachusetts. In 2016, her collection On The Loose was selected by Tony Hoagland to be the first book published by Bass River Press on Cape Cod. She has won several other poetry awards, including being a featured poet in Spotlight Archives. She won the Annual Joe Gouveia Outer Most Poetry Contest judged by Marge Piercy and appeared in World of Water, World of Sand: A Cape Cod Collection of PoetryFiction and Memoir. Her work has appeared in many journals including Alabama Literary Review, Slant, Rattle, Naugatuck River Review, The Alembic, Poetry Now, New England Review, Louisville Review, Cape Cod Poetry Review and others. She has worked as a writer and editor in several corporate settings and founded a bimonthly women’s health newsletter. She has read her poems locally in New England and California and participate in open mics and is a founding member of Steeple Street poets. 

Talk About the Weather
By Judith Askew

Like leaders warning their people an invasion is imminent,
weather reporters grow in stature over bad news.

They track snowstorms and hurricanes as though they were enemy troops.

On TV, in front of pulsating maps and flashing colors, they use lightning-fast words
to push and pull weather back and forth across the country.

They leave viewers lost, stranded somewhere, probably at O’Hare.

Meet someone in London and the talk of fog and rain goes on and on.
Weather talk there is a ritual, like two animals grooming each other.

In California no one talks about the weather: just another day in paradise.
On Cape Cod, wait a minute, it’ll change.

Even though the Weather Channel has us battening down the hatches today,
no weather shows up.

Bring on the real thing:

     quiet, portending birds;
     light-filled skies filtered to opalescence;
     spastic trees, all in an uproar;
     a god spinning handwriting across a night sky.

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