Blue Northerner


All East Texas awaits the first blue norther.

It’s blasted through Wichita Falls and Waxahachie

and later today it will be upon us with the animal force

of birth or sudden death:  the world will be other.


Waiting, the bored feel a faster heartbeat;

the sick in their hospital beds ask the visitor

the temperature outside and pull their
cool white sheets higher;

the alcoholic puts down the bottle and opens the door

to see the chinaberry trees swaying
and brawling in the yard;

the lonely thrill with the excited Weather
Channel announcer.

Dogs sniff the brute wind and sense what we can’t:

geese sweating as they fly south, lit
fireplaces in Amarillo,

chlorophyll congealing in flower stems, squirrels

breathing hard in tree trunks, wringing
their small paws, waiting.


Mary Gomez Parham is a poet living in Houston. Her work has appeared in Ventanas Abiertas, The Caribbean Writer, The Atlanta Review and elsewhere.