Once The Thunder Stops

and it’s safe to venture out,
we walk to the end of the drive,
out to the road, through the mire

and torn branches. The smell
of our wood fire mingles
with eucalyptus. We have only

the moon and our plastic 
flashlights. I can’t remember
the last time it was this dark;

how slowly eyes adjust.
The makeshift brace we rigged
held the fence, again. I draw

my scarf up higher, tighten
my hood. A crisp silence creaks
and then echoes. The dogs chase

and bark and bite at their frozen
breath, we step over what trees 
have shaken loose. Sometimes

it feels like the passing of minutes
is the only measure of movement
on a long road. Monotony

of the white line, how you know
what’s coming around any bend.
But, the comfort of that—

slump of their shoulder, tap 
of their toothbrush on the side 
of the sink.