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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 2, June 2018
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Marge Piercy
Wellfleet, Massachusetts, USA


Power to the People

March comes to Outer Cape Cod on hurricane-force winds. The bushy pitch pines that blow down block the roads like huge green bears. Our neighbor’s shingles lie scattered around her house like weird wooden hail. Power lines slither across asphalt like sparking snakes. A stormy petrel, blown from way out to sea to First Encounter beach, sits dazed and awkward on the beach, wondering where the hell he is.

Our power goes out at dinnertime; the cable follows at seven. At midnight, I lie awake, the wind roaring and throwing branches and boughs against the house. I'm afraid the roof will blow off the sun porch—the translucent ribbed plastic roof is bouncing up and down, shuddering with loud thwacks. Water leaks into the dining room from the skylights. The house shakes.

Soon, no lights are visible anywhere in my village, Wellfleet. As waves lap up Commercial Street, pouring into stores and houses, I learn that all of Provincetown is dark. Our mutual utility, Eversource, sends phone messages: out here, we all should expect to be without power for days.

power failure
close to the dark house
foxes hunt

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