Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices: ‘A Storm in Three Parts,’ a poem by Adrianne Embry

The Calm

If this wasn’t an everyday thing I wouldn’t consider anything about this tranquil

This relationship with my father has always been something so tedious

Something so worn that we don’t argue now

It takes too much energy and besides __________we got sick of storms anyhow

Ain’t no use in kindling them when we can live in the calm of it

The petrichor swayed in our nostrils as we pulled up chairs in his newly constructed

garage It still smelled of fresh paint and fire 

This my childhood home where I was sexually assaulted had burned down weeks prior

Almost with you in it

Regardless, I figured that in this moment it was best to stay silent

It’s best to do less talking

Appreciate the silence for just that

Who knows what words will set us on fire

And who knows when the fighting will cease

Who knows what can stop one hurricane from swallowing another

The Storm

The first thing you said to me when I walked into the white hospital room was

Daddy is drunk

I stopped walking towards you, my knees grew weak with anger

Blood the color of wine was spilling from your busted lip

Your teeth chipped, body gashed and bleeding

You laid there praying out loud for death in front of me

Waiting for some moonless figure

Tears bled from your eyes

Like this is the moment we needed to bring us together

Your body propelling and face whacking against concrete  

I feel small then big then small again

I could’ve told you the fire would consume my father too

I also could’ve told you that my father is the fire or

the fire is my father __________either way

He can’t scold forever

I started writing this poem two years ago and never could finish it

I see why now __________I had the ending wrong

Us drinking and being father & daughter

I had it wrong, didn’t i?

This how we gon end __________broken

Me less daddy’s girl __________broken

You once assembled my siblings and I in the kitchen

You said you wanted us to always know death like a cousin who loves to spennanight; who

don’t know her own home as one

To know it’s greed for our flesh

You promised coins to us if only we promised to not cry at your funeral as if it was coming soon

You raised me to believe that death was always coming


What a new way to greet our gods

The dead giving coins to the living as if to say 

You following me anyway

Because ain’t we all dead? Or gon be??

I got my love for watching flames turn things to ash from you

How else would I expect you to go if not burning?

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