Downpour pelts windows, rakes roof
like shards hurled in menace.
The torrent brakes slowly, as though coaxed to relent.
A respite that cradles seeds of relief that will soon
vanish, Scott thinks as he zooms in on a cardinal’s
cautious dip in a puddle beyond its sheltered nest.
Choice lies in the space between frames.
Focus to see it, or miss it & get carved by tides.
Worse yet, see it and stand struck, a piano key stuck
unhinged from resonance. Scott once found consonance
with Steph under a willow tree, a refuge from raindrops
that soaked their skin as sunlight dappled through
storm clouds. Creeping myrtle carpeted ground where
he went down on one knee, weather be damned.
He’d still make that choice after seeing
the frames that followed: currents that surged
and swept them in their wake. Adrift, he crops
the cardinal shot, softens shadows until
its color pops, stashes it amid thousands of
moments frozen in time, sketches on fogged glass
stiffened into stone. Steph murmurs, voice barely
a whimper since her last chemo. He
of his camera, its lens
powerless before a butterfly’s floundering flutter.
A. Bettencourt writes poetry and flash fiction. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Magma Poetry, The American Journal of Poetry, and Willows Wept Review, among others.