I started this awhile back. It was meant to be a poem, but:
I awake to a quiet house, no refrigerator hum, no whirring fan, no buzzing alarm. Only the gentle splash of rain through summer leaves, the distant rumble of thunder. For the third time in less than a week, the power is out. It feels cozy though, beneath this light comforter – one leg tangled in the sheets, the other searching for my husband. I consider closing my eyes and attempting to recapture the wisp of the dream I’d been having, but the dog has seen me stretch and comes over to investigate. Her day has begun; so should mine.
The dog heads straight for the back door and I follow to let her out, flipping a switch to brighten the dining room, then laugh at myself. No power, no lights. I do the same thing walking into the bathroom, shaking my head as I pee in semi-darkness, remembering not to flush, since the backyard pump requires electricity to move the water out of the well and into our toilet.
Thinking only about a cup of coffee, I ‘turn off’ the bathroom light and head toward the kitchen to put a pot on, then shake my head again. This time, less good-humoredly. I’ll have to drive to Dunkin Donuts, which means I must do something with my hair, though it probably needs a blow torch (and a working outlet). A hat will do and thank God for drive-thrus.
On the quiet drive into town, I figure the power will probably be back on by the time I return. No big deal. The faucets will flow and I’ll take a long, hot shower. My husband will probably be awake, checking the news on his iPad. He’ll thank me for the glazed doughnut I’ll buy for him.
I think about the day ahead – shopping, a visit with my grandchildren, a lunch meeting. The rain is letting up.
Yes, the power is back when I return home. I switch on the TV for a local weather report. There on the screen is a photo from Syria of a soldier cradling a small naked child. They are surrounded by burning rubble and destruction. Tears streak the black on both their faces. The child’s head bleeds and one sleeve of the soldier’s uniform is torn off. Their eyes are unfocused, as if unaware of the camera, yet their gaze lingers like the long arms of black smoke that billow behind, ready to lift them from the screen and gently set them down in my living room, where after this morning rain ends, it’s going to be a beautiful day.