“Tracking Eloise” by Dale Wisely

photo by Ron Burkett

Tracking Eloise

It is hard not to think of hurricanes as conscious beings.

That we name them like people doesn’t help.

We will have to wait and see
if she decides to move North
or if she continues on her current path.

This was true of Hurricane Irma and true of my mother who, when a young woman

during World War II,

shocked family and friends at home in Arkansas by abruptly announcing she was

moving to Battle Creek, Michigan.

Her boyfriend at the time, my father, was serving in the Pacific, a sailor

on the wrong hemisphere.

The news of his girl’s migration hurt him. He needed my mother to be home, waiting for him. Waiting

over land in Arkansas.

She worked as a waitress in a diner. We never really knew why she went, or why she returned a year later. She shrugged when we asked her,

and why Battle Creek?

It is hard not to think of my mother as an unconscious, swirling vortex of energy,

powered by heat, steered by pressures.

She moved North.
Turned away from the expected path,
leaving damage in her wake.

Dale Wisely founded and co-edits Right Hand Pointing. He co-edits prose poem digital chapbooks at White Knuckle Press and co-edits one sentence poems at One Sentence Poems. Dale lives in Alabama.

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