Disaster Play

for Samantha

Pretend the storm is breaking
through pines, the stone bird-

bath, or that the angry woman
touching your hand to the stove

to warn you—hot—is hail stones,
uprooted mimosa, the tin lid

of a garbage can smashed
into the back door. Let’s push

two chairs together, drape the bedsheet,
make one small room

for us both. Take your favorite blanket,
make tarps of yellow rosebuds, gather

crackers, yarn-mouthed dolls,
pop-up books. Call the fist-sized hole

in the wall hurricane, tornado, natural
distater. Pretent the forecaster

on your purple radio says to take
cover, and we’ll listen to the storm

tear out dishes from cupboards,
crash them to the floor. Do not

be afraid when this house becomes
unhinged; I will hide you

inside my hair. Understand
a woman’s crying is only wind,

a collapsed roof, a splintered board
floating in dark floodwater.