by Bonnie Bruton Horton
Epigraph: paraphrase, William Congreve, The Mourning Bride, Act III
“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 –
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.