Re Verse

I was on an island

in the Bahamas

before hurricane Sandy came

my first such trip, saved-for, carefully planned

I felt melancholy

trying to enjoy my 4 hours ashore

before they swept us back onto a cruise ship

for an ahead-of-schedule (and utterly miserable) journey home

I couldn’t manage enjoyment

imagining the fears of island inhabitants

stiff smiles that didn’t reach eyes

for the sake of a few dollars they were sure to need soon

I gave someone all of my cash

left the beautiful tourist area

walked around to the unkempt side

wild island plants strewn across sands without footprints

I glared at the approaching black mass hopelessly

then steered my heavy body

back to my intact home

I was on the Riverwalk

in Tampa Bay

before Hurricane Ian came

I felt a little melancholy

trying to enjoy my anniversary

before flying back off to safety

I managed it this time

the driver had said,

“Beautiful weather today, sunshine, nice breeze. Of course, it’s because of what’s coming soon.”

he was still happy about the day

his smile reached his eyes

I soaked up everything that made the area beautiful

knowing more than a sunset approached to end it

irrational as resenting weather is

I still spared a glare for the out-of-sight tempest

over the river somewhere

predicted to flood and rage through

I stayed up-to-date with the news

Tampa Bay “got lucky” a local reported

and I stared, stunned, at the photos

reverse storm surge

not everyone got so lucky as Tampa

not everyone ever will

every good day is someone’s worst

enjoy good days anyway

I temper relieved gratitude

with concerned compassion

try to move forward in kindness

but have the courage to look back

and take action

even small hands help