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Poetic License: Riding Out Wilma

By Staff | Sep 6, 2017


Eleven o’clock.

Category two.

The reds, yellows and greens

Of Wilma’s eyes glare

From the motel room TV screen:

Wilma spirals and spins –

Landfall in five hours.

Under the mock moons

Of the motel parking lot lamps

The pool glimmers eerie green.

A mad-dog couple frolics in the Jacuzzi.


One o’clock.

Category three.

Cone of uncertainty

Grows more certain

In the left bottom corner

Of the Mad TV rerun

On the screen.

Outside the eye

Wilma’s advance gusts

Rattle the pool and motel signs.

Sleep is difficult –

Waiting -slow madness.


Four o’clock.

Category four.

The wake and wait is on,

Wilma howls horribly,

Hurling horizontal rain,

Shingles and debris

Through the helpless air,

The mad sea of pool rages

Then disappears into darkness

As the power failure begins.

In the unconditioned darkness

The battery-powered radio and flashlight

Connect us to the world and each other

But not to the evacuated home

Where the backups beep to no one.


Five o’clock.

Final burst of Category Three.

Wilma locomotors and thunders,

Body parts of buildings and trees

Collide and explode

With maddening nearness

While our own bodies hold on to each other.


Five thirty.

Category two.

Wilma weakens to tropical,

Then gale force

And finally – random gusts.

Flashlights lighting our way,

We emerge from the musty cocoon

Of motel room, descend to the lobby

Where the other untouched and grateful

Riders of the storm will help us wait

For the return of light and power.