Like Laughter, Like Lightning

Ellie Johnson


Sunlight slipped through a gap that was tightening,

and we watched the rays split the clouds overcast

striking the shore like laughter, like lightning.

We pitched wet stones, fading and brightening,

in dashes over this inevitable ocean - leaping past,

skipping, and slipping, in gaps that were tightening.

And we looked up at the sky heightening

in blue, electrifying the rain as it hit in a blast -

striking our skin like laughter, like lightning.

“How quickly,” you said, “the sun is whitening

these waves.” How quickly they dip into silence vast.

Flashes of light from a gap that is tightening.

“Look,” you pointed out, enlightening

me of the crows soaring over our heads, and I felt at last

this burst of laughter like lightning.

You stared, but all I could think

was how beautifully fast

we slip like the sun through time that is tightening

striking each shore like laughter, like lightning