The wizened chestnut tree could only cradle
The evening wind in his candlestick arms for so long.
For she had much to say, and wanted to be free to speak
Of far-away places she had been, things she had seen.
Her words broke loose and raced each other to the ground
Where they tumbled and fluttered excitedly at our feet.
Regaling us of the summer storm that had given chase;
A dreadnought glowering beyond the neighbouring hill
With its old farm that shrugged behind battened-down
Barn doors, a mad dog barking in the heavy air.
But when we did not listen she blew open the doors
And slammed shutters in roaring tantrums against the walls,
Dragging curtains from their open windows until they hung
From their fittings like poor souls being swept away in a flood.
Gers, France, August 2018