Lifting the Lean

jd daniels
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff! World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!
                  ~ Edna Saint Vincent Millay

Wind whipped her hair, salt water punished pilings as she—eyes lowered—gripped the recently redirected drawbridge’s railing and boosted her right foot onto the horizontal surface.

“Better get inside,” a whiskery fisherman with poles and bait bucket mumbled, continuing to push hunched-shouldered through the challenging air.

“Yeah, sure, in a minute.”

In the not too distant horizon, a funnel cloud shifted from grey to greyer, signaling her to come deeper into its promise of swirling hot chaos.  A moored boat tipped over.  A palm frond tore from a tree and smacked the water, reeling.  Her gaze drifted back to the cloud—its color now darker—its shape more pronounced.

Inhaling the acrid organic smell of the murky sea, she, with the speed of a gopher tortoise, raised her face to the mist and placed her other foot on the cement ledge.  A luminous ray of light almost blinded her.  She closed her eyes. Opened them again.  The light remained.  Her skin warmed.  She glanced downward.  A dolphin, as if performing for an invisible photographer’s camera, jumped high then disappeared.

Slowly, ever so slowly, her grip loosened.

“Hey, you!  Get off there.  That tornado’s comin` right for you,” a voice thundered.

She tapped the railing once, stepped back onto the bridge floor, and with straightened shoulders walked away.  

jd daniels holds a Doctor of Arts degree from Drake University. She writes poetry and prose and has been published in various journals. Writing the Jessie Murphy Mystery Series set in Florida is one of her latest passions. She also co-edits Prairie Wolf Press Review while teaching writing at the college level. She divides her time between her writing desk, yoga, and walking and laughing with family and friends. Feel free to read her blog and contact her via her Website at

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