Three From Christian Ward
The Hurricane as a Metaphor for Faith
Our bodies were curved
into empty parentheses
in the corridor whilst we
waited for the hurricane
to pass through our area,
our shadows giving off
secrets that we’d breathe
in, feel burning our lungs.
Coughing up the words
in the morning after it left,
we’d notice the letters bent
like the feathers of a bird
trying to escape the presence
of something indefinable,
Now that grandfather’s tumors have started
collapsing the timbers of his organs, his body
has started to stink. Nurses hold their breaths
when changing his sheets, giving him food
and water. The daffodils in the vase by his
windows have turned away, shut their petals.
I ignore them when sitting down by his side
to read him the newspaper, tell him of daily
happenings. When it increases in intensity,
I smile and remember reading how the ark,
filled with putrid smells from 151 days
of travelling, beached itself on the summit
of a mountain and all known life crept out
from that foul smelling source.
You cannot dream of winter
happening because it is always
there in the background,
whatever month it is. Walking
along a pier in August you
will hear it grinding against
the iron legs, in the gulls’ mews.
Sitting on the porch in April,
you will feel it rubbing against
your legs, turning your skin
white as milk. Fake a surprise look
in November when snow falls,
ignore the glimpse of ice behind
your parents’ eyes.
BIO: Christian Ward is a
MOTIVATION: The first piece was about my experience with faith as a child, the second was about a personal tragedy and the third was based on my observations of winter and how it never really seemed to go away.
Photo by: Craig Goodwin