Hurricane Sandy 2012
Late last October the winds came up, way up; blew in at one hundred and ten mph.
A hard storm curled its way along the coast, bellowed its tantrum into your island,
ripping trees, pitching them into houses, crushing cars. The tide surged in
and in, until the sea sucked the bones of the land and spit out death. Then, the waves
tried to bury what they’d done with sand and debris and seaweed, tried to cover the windows.
And after, days into weeks with your wife and children huddled near the fireplace,
eating fridge leftovers, then mining the canned goods, waiting for the grid to crank up
with civilisation again. When cold had crept into every last corner, the baby got sick.
It didn’t feel like camping anymore with the candles burned and clothes covered with vomit
and water getting scarce, yet the damage went on. “Never seen anything like it,” you said.
Seven months and your chainsaw continues to chew the deadfall into fire wood, now drying
in tidy rows in your yard. Chunked lengths of black oak lie where the crane dropped them
to your flagstones; they await the teeth of the portable mill. For you are determined
not to waste these trees fallen after two hundred years of touching the sky; you choose
to honor and remember them. You want to saw them, plane them, build furniture;
you want to build tables with tales of the wind to tell.
The words and photo are copyright © Carol Steel. This story of Hurricane Sandy is a compilation of stories and is not meant to depict any one family.