After the Hurricane
There is that moment, an hour or two
after the hurricane, when it comes
to you that, before it hit, you were
weeping. You sat in the kitchen and
thought about aging, how your children
hated the oldness of you, refused
to see you. You were weeping. Your feet
were crossed at the ankles, a tissue
was balled-up and damp in your fist. You
wept for your sins, for the selfishness
of your soul, for the sound the minutes
make as they race by you, pass you up.
When the hurricane hit, the screen door
blew off and the roof shingles lifted
and the rain came like needles. Your cat
leapt to the top of the fridge, your lover
pulled you into the bathroom and held
you very tightly. The lights went out,
the phone rang twice then stopped, a porch chair
blew over on its side, danced across
the yard. After a while, it was over.
You thanked God for the cat, for the roof,
for the way it stopped suddenly, then
all you heard was rain landing hard on
the sill. You went to bed and woke late
at night with a cramp in your hand. You
still held the tissue, balled-up and damp
in your fist. Oh yes, you told your
self, right before the hurricane, I
by Martina Reisz Newberry
from Learning by Rote
In this time of giving and giving thanks, I’m thankful for the quiet since Sandy, and everything else in my life, even since this year seemed to be a year of losses. We don’t like to mention the bad things. People are still sifting and sorting, wondering. The loss of a loved one seems absolute but the memories and sense of being alone return and we find beauty in little things. A bird song outside my doorstep, a melody pure and clean, everything gonna be alright. I’m grateful just to have known you. No matter if you are in a distant land, I will always be with you, my friend.
Songs and music are an important part of this time of year for me. Old songs, old tunes, are like smells the way they make us remember another time, a place we first heard a song, or a gathering with friends when that tune was played, over and over. The fun, the warmth, the faces don’t leave us, and though this time can be a time that sometimes seems sad, we can rejoice in living and what we know is good. The love we receive is equal to the love we give. Seeing the joy from what we give is sweeter than what we get.
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