Other Gods

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Suddenly there we were—
a hillside in the cloud
where thunder racked the air,
dispassionate, loud.

The earth we used to know
flickered to memory.
Below, the river shone
like mercury

and mutable as he
who moves in the between
so few of us can see,
like a stranger’s dreaming.

This was not in Rome
but the southern hemisphere
which other gods call home
to love and fear.

And there we were
in that electric flash
anticipating fire
and rain-wet ash,

wishing we knew a tale
that would make sense of this.
The rain turned into hail
leaping with a hiss.

And then it stopped. The cloud
had come in like the tide
flooding all the world
where a god might hide.

The trees were grey and still
like plantings in the air,
and we on our bright hill
could only stare.