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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hurricane Sandy 2012


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.


Scarlet said...

That was some mighty wind and storm ~ But I like the part of not wasting those big fallen trees, but rather to remember and use them as furnitures, as stories ~

Have a wonderful day ~

Carol Steel said...

Thanks Heaven. I think that out of all that tragedy and pain, it will be good to have furniture to remember it by. The black oaks that grew 200 years in that yard should be honored somehow.

Crafty Green Poet said...

the devastating power of the weather, and yes, excellent that the trees are used for furniture,

Carol Steel said...

I've listened to many people talking about their experiences of Hurricane Sandy. It must have been terrifying. And yes, it is a comfort to know that some good will come from the destruction. Thanks CGP.

Jane Tims said...

Hi Carol. This is a very good bit of writing. I like the part where the family isn't enjoying their 'camping' any more. Jane

Carol Steel said...

Thank you Jane. It was hard to have people we love so far away and in such danger but they did survive, though not untouched by the storm. It is comforting to know that some of the old oaks will find another purpose. And thank you for your comment.