The Hurricane

My Sister is a pastor
For a hospice
In New Jersey—
She’s part of a team
That drives up and down
The length of the state
Helping the dying die.
She spends her nights
In motels and keeps her files
In her car; her office
On wheels.

Years ago she fought
With the Bishop
Turning him
Into our Father, and Dad
Won again the way he
Always did—he fired her ass
Throwing her out of the church
For defying him, but she refused
To leave the Parsonage.
The Bishop sent police cars by
To harass her, so she finally
Left, still ordained,
And was allowed
To keep her stuff
In the basement
In large plastic bins
Labeled in magic marker.

The church and its manse
Are two blocks from the beach;
A sitting target for hurricane Sandy.
At the peak of the storm
The surge scooped water
From a small tidal pool
And tossed it all inland.
The basement of the house
Was flooded; everything
Covered in brackish water
And it stayed that way
For almost three weeks.

Volunteers finally pull
The muddied plastic bins
Out of the house and line
Them up along the curb in a
Sixty foot long burial mound—
The labels on each container still
Legible: ‘Letters,’‘Sermons,’‘Photos’
And so on. My Sister and I
Survey the damage; she
Takes pictures for the
Insurance company, crying
As she does so, then says,
“It’s all okay, it’s all okay.”
And then she starts to cry again.

–Ron Kolm

Ron Kolm reading “The Hurricane” and other poems at the Sensitive Skin #10 release reading, October 5, 2013, at Tribes Gallery in New York City.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkUGT-A2XcA&feature=youtu.be

Buy issue #10 in PDF format here for just $5.95, or get the full-color print version via Amazon and select bookstores.

divinecomedyfull

And you can pick up a copy of Ron’s collection of poems, The Divine Comedy, over at Amazon.


Poetry Writing

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