My Mom Called Them ‘Thunderboomers’

Three seconds from
detonation, the knife-
slice at the edge of
a thunderstorm
will defuse me
with its smell like
the well full
of drowned quarters
we stood at when we
were small, certain we’d
get something
if we promised
never to ask for it
out loud.

I believed in Thor
before he was
a hot Hemsworth.
When he
drove a chariot
pulled by two
overdetermined goats.
I don’t hide
under the bed for
anything, especially
storms, but I want
to sometimes

on nights when
sparks from Mjolnir
can’t pierce my
waterproof nightmares.
You, a still
pond, would
have giggled at
how I looked
in the mirror —
the bohemia of
hair around my ears,
eyes two bubbles
reflecting bedroomlight.

You would have
agreed I shouldn’t have
caffeine so late.
I’d smack away your
pats on the head
and your precipitous
tone. Neither of us
knew we were
passenger pigeons
hanging against
a desert
of low clouds,
full of rain.

[Traci McMickle (she/her/hers) is a bi/pan/queer poet from Montana, where she lives with a spouse and an incorrigible Rottweiler. Traci has an MFA from the University of New Orleans. She currently manages social media for Hot Redhead Media, a small press. Her work is published or forthcoming in Coastal Shelf, New Feathers Anthology, Chaotic Merge Magazine, and Crow Name.]