|NOT my house|
Usually in news reports when folks are "devastated" it's hyperbole, as in "When Man U beat us in the 90th minute we were devastated," but this is different. Friends, the devastation in Houston and surroundings is unspeakable. I can't even imagine it, although my anguish at losing a box of keepsakes to a tiny basement leak is still with me. And because I can't imagine the vastness, I'm applying that feeling in another arena.
What follows is metaphor, and not intended at all to make light of the real tragedy of #Harvey.
“We have a Houston problem,”
said my young daughter long ago,
but this poem is about a hurricane
with a boy's name.
It’s been brewing off the coast,
and now we have days
when it just keeps raining and raining--
no more tearing winds--
just the storm stalled and the water
pouring down and welling up
full of copperheads and alligators
and it’s so muddy
you can’t tell what’s about to bite,
welling and laking and bayouing
into the basement
where we keep our scrapbooks—
into the first floor
where we boil our pots
and feed our beasts—
up to the second floor
where we make beds full of
Someone’s always evacuating.
One of us takes next to nothing,
knows it doesn’t matter.
One of us can barely swim
under the burdens of everything
she’s trying to rescue.
One sets sail on a seesaw.
The library seems a likely shelter,
but the books with titles like
“How to Rise Above It”
have sunk unreadable into
the beloved sediment
of hurricane, tropical storm,
Houston, we have a problem,
and duct tape will not be enough.
draft (c) HM 2017