Lake Effect, Spring 2017, Volume 21: "The Extinction Museum: Exhibit #11"

The Extinction Museum: Exhibit #11
(vial of  rainwater c. 1986)

by Tina May Hall


A  ring  around  the  moon  brings  rain,  Aunt  Delia  used  to say. She was the crazy one, made
babies of  large stones she collected from neighbors’ yards. A row of  weighted cradles in  her  
parlor,  rocking.  When  the  ice  melted,  we  all  went to the new shore to take photos. Hot dog
vendors set off firecrackers, and ice cream dripped down our forearms. Aunt Delia carried a rusty
black umbrella, cast a shadow wherever she went. Standing at the edge of  the waves, she called out
the names of  dead cities. We threw shells to see who had to ride in the backseat with her. On the
day of  the attacks, she ran into our kitchen holding her phone in the air, not realizing all of
our phones were broadcasting the same message. After years of  no snow, winter returned. We
burrowed like stolen stones into the earth. And when that dead thing, the moon, swung high
overhead, we begged it to tell us what came next.