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by Bonnie Bruton Horton

              “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

              Death rides astride the surge,
              Urged on by the howling wind.
              Houses, ravaged by the fury,
              Splinter into arrows that pierce
              The fleeing victims.
              Gasping, gulping bodies race by,
              Like self-propelled speed boats
              Disappearing in the wake.

              The sludge of waste, death, disease
              Rises in the streets, inch by deadly inch –
              Ruptured sewers,
              Contaminated syringes,
              Decomposing garbage.
              Pieces of lives are floating in it –
              A beloved teddy bear,
              A grandmother’s quilt,
              A treasured picture album.

              Rescuers are greeted by vacant stares.
              No one is “home” anymore.
              Families are airlifted like cargo
              To scattered addresses in different states.
              “Where has hope gone?” –
              To crowded shelters in AR, TX, OK
              Where donated teddy bears await,
              Fluffy blankets fight the chill,
              And the media take new pictures.

        Epigraph: paraphrase, William Congreve, The Mourning Bride, Act III

About Bonnie Horton

Bonnie Horton's poetry and short stories have appeared in TAPESTRY (DSU Division of Languages and Literature art-literary magazine) and other magazines and journals. A member of the English Department faculty at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, she is a Mississippi Delta native.

Click to read another of Bonnie Horton's beautiful poems: "WAR POEM"
And here is another: "DELTA EVOLUTION"


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