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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We lived in fear of Hurricanes,

What I remember most about the hurricanes..
throwing away rotten food from freezers
My grandmother crying that her home was filled up with water.
The kind people who came from another part of the state to help rebuild..
the huge piles of weed in the yard
the eighteen wheeler that washed up in my grandmother's backyard.
talk of dead cows
not being able to get back on the island because of the flooding..
seemingly going back into time..

The thing about natural disasters is that they force us to fix our eyes on one another.  They force us to question our lives and things that really matter.

I remember after the Japan earthquake, I saw so much devastation. Cars floating in the water..and I knew that, at the end of this life, all that matters is how much we love those around us..How much love we gave back to God.. Natural disasters cause us to pause and rethink. They are horrible and I mourn for all involved..They bring us to the basics of living. Back to the core, so to speak..of things that really matter..

I want to share a poem I wrote a few years ago about hurricane Rita. Some parts are true. Others, ficticious.


We lived in fear of hurricanes
Swirling, swiveling masses
Of ache and sweat
We boarded windows
Prepped the sandbags
To catch the Gulf

We shuddered at the
One –eyed Titan conjured by a
tropical god whose steamed breath
Summoned coils of air to rise
Like a serpent in the sky

We lived in fear of hurricanes
And we knew the coordinates
Every hour mapped with careful precision
we prayed in the night to let the Named
change course

She rose
and grew
And blew the houses down
We collected debris
Our relics of years forgotten
Blown away with wind gust
Swept into oblivious ocean

And puddles of mud

Here lies a photo of Andy, who died on the bridge,
It floats in a pool of muck. And things our children made, lovingly,
With their hands..

So much lost
And so much found
Like strangers possessions
That the unknowing tide
Delivered into our yards

Their treasure intertwining our lives.
And we roved through it like lost Pirates
We conquered. We found.

A diamond tennis bracelet lying in the gravel
And a purple apron wrapped around the tree
..smelled a bit like cinnamon and pieces of the sea
A boat washed into the porch
That Grandpa built in ’89.
And washers and dryers
That nobly sailed across 6 foot waves
Rested by the roadside.
They must have looked like white flags floating from a distance.

A hairbrush with locks
Of fine golden hair
The curls of a child lost in its bristles.
Our booty.

And so much was swallowed by the earth
And spit out by the skies
The monuments of the Living
And the offerings of the Dead

We lived in fear of hurricanes
Whose might relinquished our technology
And brought us to the past.
When people thrived without electricity.
To the time of candles and lanterns.
When all was quiet and still.
 The Eye.

She brought the sweat of Grandparent’s 70 years old
Toiling in the August sun,
Replacing pieces of roof, creating makeshift lives
and scattering to find the past 50 years
lying amongst the dead branches of trees.

We lived in fear of hurricanes,
But she came
And she took
And the volunteers came
And gave back

A cycle of giving and taking
A spinning, a rotating, an exchange

a creation
and cohesiveness amongst strangers stronger than the
spherical bonds
between the winds.

side note..I hope the part about the "tropical god" doesn't sound sacreligious"
Truthfully, I don't know if God controls the weather or if the destructive weather is just a product of the thorns..I do know that when we fall, God is there to pick us up..and there forces out there that are not of God..I speak of what I do know....and I cannot possibly claim to know everything.
I do know that God is good.

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