In This Night of Storms

              —for Gabe

After singing you 
to sleep, I lay you down.  
Outside, a week of heat 
ends in streaks 
of lightning and rain.  
A close strike 
cracks the black egg 
of night, blanches blue-white 
the curtains by your crib. 
You sleep, though suddenly 
illumined like bone 
in an x-ray, like a candled egg.
Air and earth boom, 
then rumble back to a solace 
of water and wind.
Small in this thunder, I 
lean over your crib, listen 
to your breath, and wonder 
what the lightning struck,
and where and when 
it will strike again.


Matthew Murrey‘s poems have appeared in many journals such as Prairie SchoonerPoetry EastSplit Rock Review, and Under a Warm Green Linden.  Matthew is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship, and their debut collection, Bulletproof – selected by Marilyn Nelson – was published in February 2019 by Jacar Press. Matthew works as a public school librarian in Urbana, Illinois, and can be found online at and @mytwords on Twitter and Instagram.