Sunday, March 16, 2008



Between the downpours that flooded the lawn
And sent the earthworms onto the sidewalk
And filled the ditches by the side of the lane
So that leaves and refuge scraps of shingles plied the new rapids—
There was unity.

Between the howls of uber-wind, never wanting to stop,
Shaking the house to its core and finally topping the centuries old
Eagle Tree in the pasture, flinging its roots to the sky,
There was unity.

Amid the Gore-Tex clad linemen, and the spontaneous crews of
Chainsaw-armed road clearing crews, creators of a new roar in the air,
There was unity.

In the convoy of PUD trucks leaving at daybreak, their crews
Barely awake after four hours of sleep, their hydraulic buckets still
Covered with tree needles and sawdust from the day before,
There was unity.

As the shopkeeper sold matches, candles, and canned soup in the
Dark, on credit to a neighbor in need, and the postmistress selling me
Stamps, and sorting mail with a headband flashlight, while telling a joke,
There was unity.

In the eyes of the firemen, lining up in the deli for lunch,
Their turnouts covered with sawdust and grime, and in the
Eyes of the man whose trailer was still floating in the waters, and the
Farmer, who had spent all night saving his cows from drowning, and then doing the
Milking by generator and lantern light,
There was unity.

After the floodwaters, after the winds, after the endless stream of black clouds
Flying across the skies, after the waves tore at the beaches, after the rivers and bays
Filled with freshly slain trees and newly launched log-boats,
Amidst the blue skies and now drying asphalt,
There was unity.

Neighbor helping neighbor, stranger stopping to saw up the tree leaning on the roof,
As another came by to clear a ditch, move some limbs, hook up the phone, turn on the power—
Reaching out to others, listening to the stories, offering comfort, giving a hand,
There was unity.

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