Elise Bowditch


Even as I grew, you were always taller
and much more likely to draw down
the inevitable lightning bolt.
A matter of time only, of waiting, for the one fated strike
to home in on us, on you, your upturned face dripping,
you standing, hands on hips, in the rain.

I braved the wet wind, learned not to flinch at thunder.
Once only did I admit my sureness of your doom.
Swinging, pulling on your shirt, your arms, yelling
as a dark sheeted mass rolled over the hills.
You kept on mowing, shaking that head of yours
and laughed.

I would go along with you. To meet that eventual bolt.
Standing sodden, heart pounding, lock-kneed as you gently
remarked that that was a good one, while trees swayed
and the air
suffocated us with noise.
Not once did you draw me near with your otherwise
comfortable, strong arms

but taught me instead to count the miles twixt flash and boom,
reassured me with the calm logic of your presence.
I followed you with wild hope
to someday be as brave. Later I came to understand -
you had no special courage in this, you simply had no fear at all,
just wild pleasure at the show.

Elise Bowditch "has knocked around the software world" in many roles for years. Most recently she helped produce the computer game "King of Dragon Pass." A Seattle resident, where she lives with her husband, family and dogs, Bowditch is author of a technical piece, "Bookmaking Tips and Tricks," for PIE Developers Magazine.


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