After the Tragedy, the Laundry

I am not a victim of Hurricane Sandy.

Neither am I a hero nor a particularly keen observer.

I’m just here in New York, participating in my life

Itself unremarkable but for its uniqueness

And only thus equal to those of all others.

Just here

Sad with those whose pain

Is overwhelmed by suffering,

Envious of those with strength and determination

To lose themselves in service

With jealousy, too, for those whose words and photos

Have done so much to convey this moment to the world.


Friend Annie from Rockaway Park

Slept two nights on our couch

Glued by tortured imagination

To televised images of chaotic reality

Then replaced by Stepson David,

Just moved into an apartment 42 stories high

In a building without electricity

He firmly focused on next steps.


Some time spent in an emergency shelter

Serving bacon, eggs, pancakes and coffee

To grateful, subdued, nameless strangers,

Some time at a seniors center phoning

Inviting folks to a Thanksgiving feast

(“Travel should be possible by the 18th.”)

–Needed, then not needed at a hospice–

A contribution to the Red Cross inspired

By rock ‘n’ roll.

I attend a presentation on Taoism

& Relationships, another on the Book of Job,

One more on Issues in Buddhism

Watch an old movie, Chocolat.

Vacuum!  Cook!  Drink tequila.

Friends from The Bronx come to dinner

Bringing red velvet cake and their love.

Return DVDs and CDs to the library

And the laundry—after the tragedy, the laundry.

Published in: on November 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Nice.


  2. Vibrant photographs and a full life modestly described. Beautiful souls carried in greying bodies. I always question if and how and why I still want to be reaffirmed?


  3. I like it.

    You know what Nietzsche said?

    “When the house burns down, one forgets even lunch. Yes, but one eats it later — in the ashes.”


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