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Saturday, November 28, 2015


by Elizabeth Kerlikowske

COLORADO SPRINGS — A gun battle erupted inside a Planned Parenthood center here on Friday when a man armed with an assault-style rifle opened fire and began shooting at officers as they rushed to the scene. The authorities reported that three people were killed, a police officer and two civilians, and nine were wounded before the suspect finally surrendered more than five hours after the first shots were fired. —NY Times, Nov. 27, 2015. Photo by ISAIAH J. DOWNING/REUTERS via NY Times

I cannot leave while the wind sings in its cold November voice, exercising spruce limbs above the roof, full of spirits and souls perfecting their escapes: my husband’s colleague, the Paris dead,
unmourned strangers caught up, baffled.

Wind is not what they imagined. Always alive, it blows songbirds from the sills. Smashes streetlights and scatters the shards like leaves.

Below in the ugly solid house, cats sleep on quilts, still, while limbs thrash, cross themselves. Wind is the terrorist with no intention: unequal heating of the earth’s surface, dared by anemometers to blow harder.

Spider webs inside the window and the window tremble. Ghosts of people I once loved make room for the freshly dead. The sound of a train with the force of a bomb lifts our jackets then our bodies and snatches flesh from our faces.

Unsaid fury and unspoken endearments, wind is the thunder of my body breaking up like river ice and letting go. Lost souls from anywhere on the globe pluck at the sleeves of  the living. I am what you will be.  This whirlwind tears boats from their slips, clothes from the line, hope from the future.

Today’s gale prefaces snow with no regard for our journeys; it smoothes our problems into a dull continuous roar and cleanses them of impurities. They return to us, still problems but smoother, speaking a language we don’t understand.

Elizabeth Kerlikowske reports here from time to time on the news here and there.