Uprecedented Weather Patterns
When I was a child, my mother trapped my voice in a cooking pot and my father sealed the lid with Gorilla glue. They stored it in the basement pantry, behind the jars of dill pickles and marinara sauce with mushrooms. Wherever I went—to the playground, to school, to church—I left my voice behind. The kids on the swings shrugged at my attempts to speak. My second grade teacher gave me a gold star for how silent, how still I was. My Sunday school teacher patted my head and told me this was how I honored God.
Years later, I am grown, in my parents’ home alone—I find the cooking pot there, still tucked away, dust-encrusted. I wash it, scrub it, try to pry its lid off but cannot, cannot. In desperation, I place the pot on the stove and crank the heat up high. The waters of my voice begin to stir and stir, until they become a rolling boil. Forceful bubbling pops the lid off, through the ceiling, an explosion sent into the atmosphere, the waters forming mountainous, coal-colored clouds, releasing relentless rain, swirling over the land and sea, creating mighty waves, until my voice unleashes a tsunami. Until my voice is a hurricane.
is the author of two chapbooks and one poetry collection—This Strange and Wonderful Existence
(poetry chapbook, Bottlecap Press, 2023), Take Me Home
(nonfiction chapbook, Belle Point Press, 2024) and Lightning is a Mother
poetry collection, ELJ Editions, 2025). Her writing was selected for Best Spiritual Literature 2023, nominated for Best of the Net and Wigleaf Top 50, and published in more than 70 magazines. She lives near Pittsburgh. Connect with her at bethanyjarmul.com
or on social media: @BethanyJarmul