When I was fourteen Pennsylvania rained ice for three days.
Trees collapsed one by one
outside my window, until only a single pine
swayed unsteady in the frost.
Years later and alone, it leans toward the interstate
and a warm, foreign evening.
Through the open door television light scatters
baseball across the empty lawn; two voices speak calmly
and without pause, the dry mumble of summer.
A crow circles
over the slant of the roof,
in the uncertain night.
The voices stop with a click and a rush,
and my brother steps out of the house, a beer in his hand,
shoes scratching in the dirt next to me.
“Rain delay,” he says without turning,
and sits down on the stoop.
A faint shout from the direction of town
shivers in the air, something almost imagined.
Searching, the crow perches on a branch,
shaking itself sharply in the wind,
a single thought coming alive in its mind
and disintegrating slowly.
We find out about things too late, usually.
Somewhere far away
it must be raining.
The long gray of the clouds explains:
a distant pause, unsteady.
Michael Castle received a BA in English (emphasis in creative writing) and a BA in Neuroscience at Kenyon College. Shortly afterwards, in 2006, he moved to West Philadelphia, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania.