For the past few days we’ve been prepping for Hurricane Ian. Everyone’s nerves are on edge. We find ourselves being short with one another and exhaustion and sleeplessness prevail. We are all looking forward to some calmer skies on Saturday. And pretty much holding our breath till then.
Even though Ian is making landfall on the other side of the state, we are still anticipating some tropical storm winds, storm surge and lots of sloppy rain in NE Florida. So we have to batten down the hatches. We recently moved to an unfamiliar house in an unfamiliar part of town that, unfortunately, has had significant flooding in past hurricanes.
We’ve been through hurricane season many times. You can check out some of them in my Hurricane Anthology, a collection of links to poems and posts that were influenced, if not exactly inspired, by some of these very annoying annual visitors. But it’s a whole new ballgame this year.
This storm is a nasty one, a category four at the moment, verging on five at last count. Southwest Florida is in serious trouble and we will be too, if it re-strengthens over the Atlantic before coming our way. Luckily, that is not in the cards at the moment. Hopefully, we will have nothing more than a washout in this area. That would be bad enough.
Not since Hurricane Andrew, which arrived in our first month as new parents in South Florida, have we seen such a hurricane headed our way, one that arrived on shore looking so large and formidable. One that made you want to run and hide. Which we did, back then, since it seemed to be barreling right for us. This time, we hope to see but a lame vestige of this monster.
In this state of busyness and worry, I found myself thinking about how opposite personalities in a relationship can drive each other crazy. Especially when they are cooped up together under trying circumstances. And so this poem formed. In it, one person tries and tries to please the other, but never quite succeeds. Because he or she is just not built that way.
Good luck to all of you in the path of the storm. And try to be gentle with one another.
You’d begrudge me even sleep, I guess,
When I haven’t had enough,
And your judging frown implies
I should be made of sterner stuff.
So I’m simpering, long-suffering,
Doing things that I’ll regret,
As I stretch my nerves to breaking point
To become the teacher’s pet.
When you’re gone, I try to catch up,
But my homework’s never done.
I am such a laggard satellite
As I stagger ’round your sun.
As you scratch assignments on your board,
I would daydream. I would play.
As I show you my most precious things,
You just turn and walk away.
Our priorities are juxtaposed,
And my interests, oblique,
And my efforts, lackadaisical,
And my common sense, unique.
While you focus on the here and now,
I would dwell in futures past.
So you dash to pieces what I love
And you constantly harrass
And demand I be what I am not,
That I not be idle, wild.
That I not within my thoughts reside.
That I not be such a child.
I rely on and respect you.
One could even say, you’re right,
Were it not that you erase me,
You efface me,
Make me night.
Copyright 2022 Andrea LeDew
If you happen to be watching the January 6th hearings on Wednesday (tonight) as a perfect accompaniment to the howling winds, here is a reminder of what happened that day: Great Patriots 1/6/21.
What devastating storm news! Relieved that it passed you by. Remembering our blissful days on Sanibel.
Your poem today leaves me truly sad—that‘s how well you crafted it.
Thank you. Sanibel island is well known as a beautiful pristine haven for shell hunters. It looked quite denuded on TV after Ian passed through, everything reduced to sand. Horrible. It was quite moving and unnerving to hear people afterwards,
trying to figure out what to do next. Many tragedies are playing out as we speak. It is so important that we be kind to one another when life is clearly so fragile.
It’s good to hear that you made it through the hurricane unscathed!
Yes Liz, thank goodness. It was a little hairy there for a while but we got away with a slap on the wrist, compared to those further South. It was bizarre too, because the temperature dropped from 90 to 65 in 24 hours. The air was clean and crisp afterwards like on a mountaintop. Bushy branch tips littered the pool bottom, as if a little coral reef was growing down there. We heard a few thumps and howls in the night but no damage to speak of here, knock on wood.
Its awful to see how Ian scraped the southwest coast clean of all civilizing debris. So many escaped with only their lives. Some, not even that.
I just heard about the deaths on the news.