Forecast, a Poem by Nora Hutton Shepard
for RBS jr (1936-1997)
Can you feel the storm rising out the back door
like a kettle on the stove building steam,
the boil coming up, lid rattling, ready to pour
down the sides of the pot, down the windows, stream
to puddles on the stovetop, a flood between the barn
and the house? The world is awash in white, a dream
you didn’t forecast, didn’t call by name, no alarm
even in the Tarot, that deck with the hanged man.
You never foretold I would remain, conjured no charm
to hold me from the crowd marching on command
in mud-caked boots to the churchyard. One day is as good
as the next for digging and burying unless you demand
water to walk on. A parade in this sharp rain would
never have been our choice. The early spring’s pale sun
that tricked the iris to unfurl their trifold blooms could
not have been your intended promise.
(A version of this poem appeared in The Great River Review)
Nora Hutton Shepard
Nora Hutton Shepard is a poet and alumna of N.C. State’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing program, as well a graduate of the MFA Writer’s Program at Warren Wilson College. She taught poetry courses at N.C. State before relocating to Davidson in 2019 to be closer to her daughter’s family. Nora has quickly acclimated to life in Davidson and is a wonderful addition to our Community.