So, this atmospheric river has unleashed a series of storms which have culminated in the flood of the century — apparently my home state hasn’t been this wet since 1863 or something around then. I don’t mind the rain, and apparently didn’t even notice a tropical storm that got named, (to be fair, that was an event on the Southern end of the state, not the Northern) but I couldn’t miss Sunday night’s wild wind. They rattled this solid old house in sixty mile-an-hour gusts, and we didn’t sleep well – waking every few minutes as a new gust rattled the deck, the corrugated siding on the porch roof, and our nerves.
At first light, we broke the cardinal rule of family communications and actually texted each other before ten a.m., checking in to see if everyone in our various homes was in one piece. Well, my siblings all had stories, of course; we communicate solely through stories, at a certain age, interrupting each other with breathless details. My parents, though, had gone on with their day, and I got a note from my mother – the next Monday night – that said, “we’re fine, not even floating.” My father’s note was even funnier and more succinct: All is well.
My father only recently breached the twentieth century by getting an email account of his own. He doesn’t like to type. Or write. Or, like, communicate. And, “all is well” in his mind means that possibly the aviary roof blew off, the cockatiels are all escaped, the pug’s under the shed, and a tree fell. “All is well” means, “I’m not dead, don’t bother me.” Ah, parents.
Today’s political poem is dedicated to my friend Elaine, whose writing at Political Verses was my first introduction to turning every form into something with deeper meaning. She has a new book out for kids that has nothing to do with this, but she’s on my mind today.
lies for children
all is well, he said
(he meant, “none of your concern.”)
nothing more calming
or less informative than
half-truths reserved for children.
the House that we built
We, the People, meaning “all”
sways in these high tides
swamped by tsunamis of lies
tell me true: will we get well?
Poetry Friday is hosted today at Karen Edmisten’s shockingly cleverly named blog.