Under a Tree

High school sweethearts celebrating
56 years of marriage on a trip to DC.
to find their fate hiding under a tree

Traveling 803 miles from Janesville, WI
to explore the wonders of the nation’s capital.

A thunderstorm colored the skies,
flashes of jagged light reflected fear in their eyes

Lafayette Park, so close to the White House,
they took shelter with two others under a tree

not knowing it was the wrong place to be
struck by the fatal stab of a lightening streak,

leaving behind a large family asking for privacy
trying to accept their swift loss and forever sleep.

About the Poem

An older couple on their 56th wedding anniversary trip to Washington, DC were struck by lightning and killed near the White House. This event impacted me due to the randomness of death. They traveled so far to the very place and time when they lost their lives.

About the Author

Lois Perch Villemaire resides in Annapolis, MD where she is inspired by the charm of a colonial town and the glorious Chesapeake Bay. After retirement from a career in local government, she concentrated on her love of writing. Dabbling in family research led to the inspiration for memoir and creative nonfiction. Her prose and poetry have appeared in a number of journals such as Ekphrastic Review, Flora Fiction, and One Art: A Journal of Poetry, and included in several anthologies. Lois was a finalist in the 2021 Prime Number Magazine Award for Poetry. She enjoys yoga practice, amateur photography, and raising African violets.

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