You Could Have Knocked

And so it begins. The wind whips the tree branches, snapping off twigs; windows shiver which wake the woman from a deep sleep. She sits up, draws the comforter up to her chin. Then a gust slams into the little house, peppering the west side with dirt and debris. The 200 year old cottonwood sways, strains, then tips over and crashes onto the roof with a boom. The ceiling above her bedroom collapses into plaster and lathe, dust fills the air as shingles, insulation, wood, and nails scatter around the room. The woman screams, flings her arms over her head. Another gust of wind and the dust in the room is sucked out through the gapping wound in the roof of the house. And then it is over. The wind withdraws, clouds disperse, and a brilliant moon shines down on the scene. A crow hops from broken branch to broken branch to settle on the bed next to her. She sighs and frowns. “You could have knocked.”