Those rough tongued river folk
South of the Missouri
Would confound me
With their open vowels
And sloppy consonants—
Pronouncing the word “hail” like “hell.”
I still blame them
For my childhood fear of summer storms
When clouds blotted out the horizon,
And daylight turned black.
I would run and hide in the cellar
As storms rolled into the valley—
The farm reporter on the radio announcing:
“Hell” was falling to earth.
But instead of brimstone,
In cold, hard clumps of ice—
Sometimes the size of my hand.
Hail that pinged off the rooftop
Breaking windows and banging up cars.
When I was a childI believed summer was the devil’s season.
Tom Darin Liskey spent nearly a decade working as a journalist in Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil. His fiction and non fiction have appeared in the Crime Factory, and Driftwood Press. His photographs have been published in Hobo Camp Review, Roadside Fiction, Blue Hour Magazine, Synesthesia Literary Journal and Midwestern Gothic.