Before there were weather forecasts
three women working a cabbage field
were carried away by a great flood.
A man building a stone wall
was lost in a blizzard which rushed out of nowhere.
Whole crops were thumbed flat
by an angry wind, a retribution.
There had been a text in the stars
which no-one had translated in time.
And in those days there was sickness too;
madness; sudden death from a fever
with no name. People found the reasons:
failure, heresy, sin. Recalled and repented.
Cause and effect were knots on a line
looping back through a lifetime, back
through generations, to the Fall.
Tonight the gritters are out, and a neighbour
is tucking nylon fleece around seedlings.
You should not drive unless your journey is essential.
Structural damage is likely, especially
here in your town, to your house.
But that bit of insider dealing, don't dwell on it.
The flesh you touched in a foreign city, forget it,
you'll never be traced. And there are no stars tonight.