That summer the storm was a lightning raid.
Water gurgled down pipes, splurged
From corners and crevices. Hail exploded
Into spray splinters on the driveway. We watched
Your tender, tended rosebushes shudder
From the machine gun impact of fat
Raindrops, counted the unripe mangoes
Being rifled by the wind, wondered
If any fruit would survive the storm, watched
The toddy trees bending over like
Shelled soldiers, counted the ways
One could prepare unripe mangoes:
Tackari, pickle, chutney… wondered why
You had not called. When the telephone rang,
My aunt heard the thunder, feared to pick it up.
When she did suddenly all sounds ceased.
Image: Marina Beach in Chennai, India on November 2, 2012. (VinothChandar/Flickr)