Cynthia Sharpe is a 2015 graduate of North Carolina State University with a degree in English. A former communications intern with North Carolina Sea Grant, she continues her focus on creative writing.

Tropical Storm Hanna damage

In this October 2008 image, Outer Banks photographer Michael Halminski documents a nor’easter’s impact on a structure that had been weakened by Tropical Storm Hanna two weeks prior.

You hear that?
The chatting?
Through your radios and flat-screens?
They have so much to say about
The storm that has no name.

No, I am no hurricane.

I see you peeking through the blinds,
Up to the clouds.
That heaviness,
That darkness,
It is me.
And I will span 1,000 miles.

I am no local thunderstorm.

Step outside.
Feel my coming
That gentle breeze softly fluttering the leaves on their limbs
Bearing down on the blades of grass,
Forcing the potted plants to lean in one direction,
That will grow.
It will intensify to over 35 knots.

A tornado, I am not.

But what I lack in intensity,
Is made up in duration.
Seven hours?
Try seven days.

So I am no tornado,
No local thunderstorm,
No hurricane.

But I am a blizzard,
I am a flood,
I am cold to the core.
I am a life-taker.
I am significant.
Know me.

This article was published in the Winter 2016 issue of Coastwatch.

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