Cassandra’s Heir

My goose bumps forecast rain, but no one listens.

Instead, Mother gathers tuna and water bottles

into wicker, Father rummages through cupboards

for the bug spray, and Sister throws footballs

and Frisbees into the van. From the porch, I say,

“I feel a drizzle.” Still, no one listens,

so I turn a local Al Roker onto my cause.

in our neck of the woods, the Sunshine State,

a storm front dooms all picnic plans.

No one hears me say, “I told you so.”


We turn to Clue for indoor laughs, and I try not to know

that Prof. Plum’s revolver has sent chunks

of Mr. Boddy’s cerebellum all across

the conservatory. Between dice rolls, we snack

from Mother’s basket. I lower my eyelids,

smiling at the tuna’s likeness to gray matter,

and feel darkness spreading through the halls.

“Let’s hurry. The power’s gonna go,” I say,

but no one listens. Then, the chandelier sputters off,

and poor, myopic Mother halts the game.


With nothing else to do during the storm,

we get out the battery-powered radio, and I end

up napping to the swish of Vivaldi’s umber trees.

Past shadows, I hover toward a mansion. Plu-

meria mist fills its greenhouse while a woman wrapped in scarlet

faints across a body. I don’t recognize her

or the crowd of suits and gowns scattered

among the other rooms, but I know

I am the victim. I jolt awake without a holler,

burdened with the truth that


no one listens.


Contributor Notes: When not writing long and short poetry and fiction or teaching English at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, Alan LaCerra helps his mother look after his two-year-old nephew and four-year-old niece. As an occasional world traveler, he finds inspiration in natural settings and European cultures. As a gay man and a lover of literature, he reinvents the classics by drawing on contemporary, for example LGBT and ecocritical, perspectives. You can visit him at