“He’ll be back,” she muttered. “let the wind cut into him a little.”

                                                                          (Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor)
It was meant to be just a short silence,

but it grew, molecular bonds shifting

until water hardened to ice. What at

first wouldn’t be said, finally couldn’t
as if tongue and palate had forgotten the

shape of the vowels. The wind’s faint

soughing through leaves twisted the

treetops clean off. We found them next

morning through the roof, a welter of

board and bough. There’s no guarantee
of just a little. Crack the door and the

dog may bolt in a clatter of claws. He’ll

be back, she muttered.