Hometown

I was born in a hurricane

Drowning in indignity

And they taught me how to swim

Before my words formed coherency

I learned salt from the ocean

Not from tears.

 

I learned to tell the difference

Between screams and wind’s howling

When the eye passed overhead

And the carnage stilled for sobbing

And the mother’s loud lament

Bereft

 

And even ten years later

Sometimes you saw the empty eyes

Shattered by the force of nature

In buildings abandoned to the rise

Of the unforgiving sea

By those unhomed.

 

Please forgive my coldness;

I was taught to shut myself tight

And board up my windows

And hide in the closet

From the rage that devours.

 

But a hurricane candle only lasts 72 hours.

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