It came on suddenly. After lunch, the sky lowered and a few fat drops smacked on the terrace. The smell of hot dust, newly wet. Staff ran to fetch in parasols. The pool was pocked-marked as though a child was throwing in handfuls of stones, and the wind wild-whipped the palm trees on the front so hard and so fast we were sure they’d snap. The rain billowed and danced like snow, bounced back and splashed our ankles, icy cold, and the world was suddenly only water and roar, as though we had somehow slipped anchor, far from shore. We watched from the balcony, my palms pressed against my youngest’s chest, his heart leaping, all of us goosebumped and squealing, stretching our arms and necks into the force of the storm. Only you stayed indoors. You’ve never liked the rain. Afterwards, everything felt clean and sharp: the storm perhaps not so sudden after all – rather, there was a heaviness in the air and we only knew its weight when it had gone.
by Jen Emery
Jen Emery thinks, writes and speaks about work and life in all its messy beauty. She has a day job in the City of London and coaches, teaches and writes business books. She also writes poetry. Her work has been published in magazines including Atrium, Brittle Star and The Interpreter’s House, and her short story in verse was published by Atmosphere Press. She lives with her family in London and Edinburgh and much prefers sonnets to spreadsheets!
photo by Pok Rie