Last week, my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina was devastated by flood.
As I do, I responded to it by co-creating poems with Facebook friends. For me, poetry is the way to say the feelings even when they are overwhelming.
Here are my 2 poems.
Saturday lay to rest an officer under
Serendipity of moisture from the coast
A blessed tomorrow to offer
Rain and perturbation at most
Solidarity in the Acres giving
Alms to translate ghastly into comfort
Sunday deluge during sleep
Serenity broken by antediluvian baptism
Hope and honor and salvation
Logjam on the radio
Helicopter rescue lines fall
Into grateful golden connection
Monday a fresco of spaghettification
Rise and boil coffee as Devine
Becomes a fluid meditation
Colloquial and vacuous words spoken
More restless expulsion
Sleepless and prayerful devastation
Tuesday hope and sunshine
Volunteer under stillness of apocalypse
Until mischievous dams recede
Strong and fragile cannot breathe
Load cars and then with gratitude
Reenter home in frustrated relief
Wednesday pray to Yemaya and water
And your mama in her faithfulness
While trucks pour rocks into the mess
And sand is dumped by Chinooks
Repeat the word grateful till
Your back teeth crumble into goodness
Sleepless I see you, tossing and turning,
Exhausted except for the dreams burning
Thankful within you of what could have been
Wet vac and suction, loss and slow motion
Warrior pose as you stand in the dark
Soaked in your heart watching more dying
Sunshine comes slowly on nights like this
Inopportune moments of shadows blocking
Moist morning coming once night is done.
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Cassie Premo Steele, Ph.D., is the author of 13 books and a writing coach.