In the Middle of an Argument

by Timothy Young

This poem appears in Vol. 1 #2 (Spring/Summer 1998) of Men's Voices journal.
 Men's Voices: So men can find their voices and speak their truths


Sometimes, in the middle of an argument, a door flies open,

lightning flashes, and steely needles of rain begin to fall.

You feel as if you're in an open field,

unable to find a cave or a ditch.

Here, on the bluffs, where a log house

can be leveled by straight-line winds,

we've had practice dealing with storms.

If a hard wind gets inside,

the walls can fall, the roof rise and tumble,

and debris piles on top

of the basement of fear and loneliness.

If I have to carry a plywood sheet

to nail over a broken window,

I carry it knife-like into the wind,

I walk sideways so the force won't throw me.

As I pull the door against the wind, it resists even more.

Then, at the instant when the door is edgewise

and I'm backing into the house,

I must take special care, making sure my fingers

won't get slammed into the jamb wood,

or the glass shatter over me.

I must resist the wind, just a bit,

push against it, and yield slowly

so we close the door together.

- Timothy Young


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