photo by Ron Burkett

Tracking Eloise


It is hard not to think of
hurricanes as conscious beings.
That we name them like people doesn’t help.

We will have to wait and see
if she decides to move North
or if she continues on her current path.

This was true of Hurricane Irma
and true of my mother who,
when a young woman
during World War II,

shocked family and friends
at home in Arkansas by
abruptly announcing she was
moving to Battle Creek, Michigan.

Her boyfriend at the time, my father,
was serving in the Pacific, a sailor
on the wrong hemisphere.

The news of his girl’s migration hurt him.
He needed my mother to be home,
waiting for him. Waiting
over land in Arkansas.

She worked as a waitress in a diner.
We never really knew why she went,
or why she returned a year later.
She shrugged when we asked her,
and why Battle Creek?

It is hard not to think of
my mother as an unconscious,
swirling vortex of energy,
powered by heat, steered by pressures.

She moved North.
Turned away from the expected path,
leaving damage in her wake.


Dale Wisely founded and co-edits Right Hand Pointing. He co-edits prose poem digital chapbooks at White Knuckle Press and co-edits one sentence poems at One Sentence Poems. Dale lives in Alabama.

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