Spring, the Flower Picker, John William Waterhouse
From my writer’s notebook, 9/16/2006
The memory of glass. Glass holds a shock and shatters later. It remembers trauma, and even in the doing of a harmless activity, the glass will suddenly crack or shatter, and you’ve no idea why. But the glass remembers. Behind the house lay the bayou, browny-green, appearing still as light, but moving swiftly, only tiny ripples on its surface, sometimes cleaved by a snake. Thunder rolls, fists of sound, punching the atmosphere, cracking loud, explosive, so deafening, you can feel it in your chest. Lightning rips the dark underside of storm clouds, stitching itself across the horizon, stabbing into the earth, shocking the horizon white like the end of the universe. Everything trembles, and the rain comes down, punishing, whipping, relentless. May liked to watch the lightning, but Ma Viola fussed her away from the windows, covered the mirrors, pulled out all the electrical plugs, and fell on her knees by her quilt-covered bed to pray. May laid on her bed in her room and tried to sleep since there was nothing else for her to do, nothing else Ma Viola would let her do while the storm raged.