Forward Observer by Mark Harden


the tall tornado siren
stands mute over an unkempt stretch of green belt

deer graze beneath
canopies of twisted cedar elm,
preferring the thinning stand of trees
to the exposed pasture

wary too, of clearings
I watch them
from within a screened porch sanctuary
as lightning illuminates the sky

the storm is yet miles west
but still the deer bolt,
bounding out
into the open field

I share their impulse
to run

as barrages of thunder
approach an abandoned line