after the storm

The trees are children tonight, full of noise,

and running through the house - prying windows,


chattering below stairs, pulling faces

and teasing the shade's yellow daub of light;


they scatter petals across the table,

the tiled floor: a crimsoned peony march;


the back door rattles - I think it's you

and almost rise, before I remember.


Night swells and snaps. It roars down

from the attic, like the roll of the sea,


sweeps its tantrumming offspring out

through the yard, back to the wandering forest;


in its wake, silence drifts, dry as tinder,

into the quivering drum of the house;


walls fold around this new emptiness,

trying on its shape, as I fold around mine.


Listen to Angela read the poem.


’It isn’t easy to describe a storm in a poem because it is such a familiar subject; I can’t help thinking of Ted Hughes’ ‘This house has been far out at sea all night’. But Angela T. Carr has found her own way of doing it in ‘After the Storm’ without sounding derivative... The quiet after the storm suggests the quiet after a funeral, when the person left behind has to ‘fold around’ the new emptiness.’
— Wendy Cope, Mslexia Poetry Competition 2014