I remembered a poem I had received through a "poem-of-the-" email subscription many years ago. If I remember correctly, I believe it came from Milkweed Editions, but I can't be sure because I lost all my back emails three years ago in a crash. [I had been using an online back-up program that allowed me to reload all my files with the exception of my emails. There's something nice about getting rid of the old stuff and starting all over, but on the other hand, when you're looking for a poem you had saved, you're out of luck.]
I figured I must have written a hurricane haiku over the years, so I did a search of my files. It turns out I had written a whole book's worth of hurricane poems and forgotten about them! It was for a project I worked on back in 2003 on The Great New England Hurricane of 1938. One of the poems turned out to be an abecedarian poem! (It seems I posted another one of the poems back in 2011, which you can read here.)
Today's forecasters can warn of hurricanes far in advance of their hitting a location. Back then, forecasting, without the benefit of satellites and computers was an art at best. There was no FEMA assistance to help in the recovery, either. Some of the stories of the devastation would make your hair curl.
THE ABC OF FLOATING DEBRIS
Doll (baby, fully-clothed except for socks and shoes)
Eyeglasses (tortoiseshell frame)
Fedora (size 7 3/8)
Galosh (left foot only)
Icebox (sliced bologna and half a pound of butter inside)
Jacket (child’s, red)
Knob (brass, door attached)
Life preserver (with survivor)
Nightstick (wrist strap missing)
Oilskin (and sou’wester)
Portrait (unidentified, 1700s?)
Quahog basket (no quahogs)
Rubber ball (black)
Staircase (minus banister)
Toddler (on shingled roof fragment)
Ukelele (strings intact)
Vacuum cleaner (electric cord frayed)
Window (six paned, with and without glass)
X-ing sign (railroad)
Yacht (her mast broken)
Zwieback (one box, unopened)
© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
I never did finish the project, despite having 34 poems written. As I mentioned above, the devastation was awful, and after a while, it was too depressing to continue.
I hope all our southern neighbors escape unscathed. We'll be thinking of you.
The Round-Up is being hosted by Matt Forrest Esenwine. Matt is also celebrating the "birth" of his first picture book, Flashlight Night. Way to go, Matt!