The Gathering Storm

An hour before dinner, grey churning clouds assembled
At the top of the lake and merged testily,
Like cavalry waiting to charge.
They filled the space, swallowed the strident rockface,
Blanked the waterside villages below.
Waiters hurried to strip their white starched tables
Of silver, linen and glass.
Guests abandoned the terrace,
Took huddled refuge in the vaulted bar,
But, exhilarated by anticipation,
We climbed to the top of the garden
To watch the unstoppable army
Swarming its thunderous boots towards us.

Barbara Lawton

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