it is walking in galoshes
mud swirling around ankles
the pthuck pthuck of pulling out
each reluctant step
it used to be barefoot on grass
soft moist blades bending under soles
springing back green and upright again
a word like meadow means nothing now
in the gray air and fusty mold
dark waves of garbage flow down the street
frightened faces wordless in windows
splashes and stinks
rotted leaves clinging to the blank
illegible dank scrawls
I keep sending out doves
but none of them come back
sheetrock crumbles, walls buckle,
piles of rotting debris
cover all their places. The moon hangs
over the devastation, This is the last place
violated rooms, shattered glass.
lives ripped open by the wind.
sac of family torn open,
sodden treasures, desire for sleep. sleep.
who are we if we are not our houses?
British grandmother said, safe as houses.
There were few hurricanes in her land, and
the bombs had not yet fallen there. I put
my tiny hand in hers. safe.
houses were safe, were safes.
anything chasing you out there
vanished with the slam of a door.
you were home.
boats pick up the stranded,
white towels in second-storey windows
signaling, we concede to the storm.
Janet and Steve are rescued,
clutching a Yorkie each.
trucks, buses, displacement, nowhere to go.
no doors to shut.
everything open, like the Last Day.