Today's poem is by Lynne McMahon

Out in It

The storm hasn't yet kicked the electrics out
so all the houses are still lit cubes,
broadcasting their superior sense to the rubes
caught out in it, though rubes

should be the least taken in, being rustic,
—"unsophisticated country fellows," Webster's says,
but then, confusingly, traces
the root to the nickname "Reuben" (as in, Face it,

he's a real Reuben) which I suppose
could be a farmboy moniker but seems
purely Old Testament to me, Jacob's seed,
or, more currently, New York deli,

whose appearance on the prairie has yet
to be made manifest . . . Whatever rubric
it shelters under makes no difference
to the poor sod and leashed, dubious

dog caught out in it, a torrent now,
green sky, rushing gutters, hail,
and she (I admit it. Me.) hightails it,
as we say in Missouri, through the gale

which has providentially blown her umbrella out,
whose metal spike might tempt the hit,
pre-empting—forever—such rustic shtick
as wind and rain and firmament.

Copyright © 2003 Lynne McMahon All rights reserved
from The Southeast Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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