Thunderstorm in Madrid
It is here now, long after a mild roar
back in the sierras developed into sets
of rolling thunder,
like a forgotten thought
that comes at the wrong moment
to disrupt the egocentric routine of city life.
Here again, a yearly call in June,
claiming the time when the Earth
makes day and night even,
when pagans celebrate in old civilized
countries of Europe jumping over bonfires,
with blessings from Saint John.
It lands in the evening, blowing chaos
onto the flight of swallows that zigzag
around the mass of buildings;
the ranks of street poplars made
to swirl wildly for their boldness
of outgrowing the blocks.
The skies grow somber, darkness
spreads its moussiline veil
and a clue of vague omens fills the air.
Still, when the first lightning sparks
in the distance, we are caught off guard
and wonder what turns us dizzy.
The atmospheric pressure builds up
same as a French soufflé. My errant mind
recalls sights of Aeolus at the Prado Museum,
then, gusts of wind set a newspaper flying,
a stray balloon goes waltzing above a child’s gaze,
and I fancy the street has become a painting by Chagall.
It’s time for the anticlimax of a hard rainfall,
for those heavy clouds to release
a wealth of wetness inside our dry cells
of city folks in the central plateau;
like in the everlasting films from India where
the happy ending comes with the monsoon.
Alas, the sultry hours, the dust whirls,
all our restlessness prove useless;
the storm dies away without a drizzle
and, in the end, we learn that the fanfare
was just a craze of meteorological effects
mocking Madridians’ tilt for summer fireworks.
Carmen O. Menéndez