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Monday, April 25, 2011


by Earl J. Wilcox

Something about hail fixes us like
nothing else that falls from the sky.

Rain drops the size of sand---
or big as cats and dogs---after all,

are still only water, while trillions
of unique snowflakes falling fast

enough to cover the state of Texas
in seconds do not master us like hail.

Yesterday: lightning, thunder, rain,
wind, threats of fire storms, tornadoes,

hurricane warnings, blackouts, auto
accidents from driving winds, water-

logged streets, sewer stoppage.
Yet just at night fall hail grips

us with fear. In all sizes from peas
and pellets to golf balls and bigger

it pelted us, pelted  us hard, pocking
a teenager’s car, ruining an old man’s

young lettuce, demolishing Aunt Mary’s
dogwood blossoms, stripping

Johnny Jacob’s early corn, and smashing
windows at the car wash. Some may say

the world will end in fire, while others think
ice. If ice, then hail is spring’s apocalypse.

Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he is a regular contributor to The New Verse News. More of Earl's poetry appears at his blog, Writing by Earl.