Emily Riddle Literature Poetry

Storm Formation

is it sacrilegious to say i was horny for a thunderstorm?
all day we sat on the beach of wâpamon sakahikan
bodies burning on the beach
foolish not to slather each other in sunscreen
or admit our feelings for one another

in june the sky is in transition above nehiyaw askîy
it’s difficult to predict what is going to happen
i can usually tell if it’s hot enough for storm formation
but sometimes they roll in unpredictably,
like lust for a longtime friend

thunderstorms are just moist heat from the earth’s surface rising
positive and negative electrons communing in a cloud
transference happening so quickly that they form lightning
swiftly breaking the sound barrier: thunder
simple enough explanation for a sacred process

after a day of rising heat at the beach,
thinking about when 70,000 litres of oil spilled into the lake
and how good your hair looked cascading all the way down your back
after, i sat in my sweltering apartment
as the pressure system outside unleashed

cooling us all down
loud and unashamed
lighting up the sky
unleashing droplets
returning to equilibrium


Emily Riddle is a nehiyaw writer, researcher, and library worker. She is a member of the Alexander First Nation and is based in Edmonton, Treaty 6 territory. Her work has appeared in publications such as PRISM international, Guts MagazineBriarpatch, Teen Vogue, The Globe and Mail, among others. Her first poetry chapbook will be published by Moon Jelly House in early 2021.