Eviction {a sestina}

Are you sleeping? Waves are washing over
our home and the cat’s run out. A dead wind
is knocking at our front door. Is it real?
Is it crooked? Should we look to fight?
You can froth and fret. This is not your home,
said the wind to us that night in a storm

that gouged like a battered dog’s bite. A storm
that warped the walls we painted over,
left stains that must be hidden. Sell our home
to highest bidder! Never mind the wind–
wind that mocks, wind that’s calling us to fight.
Nothing can be deluged here; nothing’s real-

estate worth our salt tears. What is real,
we’re told, cannot be bought or sold. A storm
within our soul is willing us to fight.
Fear of an eviction note, an over-
estimate. Dishes pile up but the wind
speaks as if it were master of this home,

as if knowing what is right. Beyond home
neighbors gather, a witness to what’s real.
Not all storms announce themselves, declares the wind,
as we sleep in unmade beds, as the storm
rattles frames and photos and rages over-
head. Be still, the wind advises. We fight

no more. The weeds are thick. We cannot fight
them (growing lush as they are). And our home
surrounded– rain after rain pouring over.
And we recite hope– a hope that is real.
And we invent a way to tell if the storm
has moved away (waves agreeing with the wind):

Sun will dry the weeds. Cool will be the wind.
And we will rest our heads, never to fight
again. An inheritance to bear. And the storm
is still about. Never dying, always dead. Home
is a curio with glass. We display what is real.
We leave the candles always lit, even when it’s over.

Watch for the storm, says the wind.
Be ready to fight, says the rain.
We are real. And the waves wash over our home.

{Inspired by Matthew 8:23-27 and, unfortunately, a few real-life events.}

I am linking this poem on the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads today.