Ružomberok, Slovakia – 2014
Outside the window, the Vav River still winds its way
past the door as if nothing had happened,
as if only the old floorboards could share
the secrets of boots that trod on them,
the way chair cushions hold the imprint
of each daughter, each son.
Suddenly, a storm. A low hum
that shoves the jacaranda leaves up and over
the tiled roof as it builds to a roar.
The chimney flue shrieks a stiff-legged march
and the gate swings back and forth,
keeping time with the fury.
I’ve been told the tempest at her door
found Viola this swiftly, lasting
long enough for her to swallow
one pill of cyanide while she
waited for the rain.