That year there was a hurricane inside me

I was all arms and legs and panic
and no one could stop my river bursting its banks.

Things were getting smashed
and I was powerless to stop it.

No one had explained to me
what to do when the big winds came,

first the tiles lifted clean off the roof
and dumped themselves at my feet

and then the rain arrived, lashing
and ferocious, soaking the bed linen.

That year nothing much made sense
and I made a storm shelter of myself,

so that when the flood warnings sounded
I didn’t hear them,

I lay curled on my camp bed, oblivious
until the shelter began slowly filling up.

Julia Webb, from The Tellling (Nine Arches Press, 2022)