Poem — 13 February 2020

by Ivy Abbott

Everyone is talking about the flood waters rising. “It hasn’t been this bad since 1915 when they had to lift their skirts and walk on planks in the downtown areas for a week. A little boy drowned!” “A hundred years flood,” they say with awe I am scared, like them, but it’s a familiar feeling with me. Seems like I’m always slipping my banks Careening towards the edges and flowing over them because, even if I wanted to, the path I have worn is no longer a place where I can move, not really I’m too much I’m welling I’m angry and this job, this life, this country keeps proving too wrong. I cannot fit. Why would anyone build so close, knowing what rivers do? In the good times, we forget what havoc we get from an angry river The ocean side view is the good life until the hurricane approaches. I don’t know why but my friend owns one of those big snakes, a constrictor. Recall the urban legend of how they measure their owners when they get big enough. Stretching long and smooth against them in the bed, the length a serpentine body against the unsuspecting sleeping man in the dark. Let us see if the one who has fed them for over a decade will now be a meal, if the time proves right to consume. I certainly have not felt like a caterpillar, cocooning into a primordial goop of nothing to reform into a masterpiece with wings. The flood will recede and eventually you will be lulled again into the return of idyllic shores. You’ll tell cautionary tales to your children about the time the river slipped its banks. Or you dream about what you might tell your children about what you did when America began to fall. Like you’re a hero for not stepping in and being pulled away. hash tag resist. hash tag me too. One time I got under my porch for some maintenance and there was an empty pack of smokes and a dry snakeskin. I don’t smoke, but I know how the eyes get cloudy unexpectedly, just before you need to burst your skin The smokes were from a stalker. A rapist. I’m cold all over but I understand. It’s nothing personal. “You just mean nothing. I measured and it was time.”

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