The Night Irene Came into Town

The night Irene blew into town,
She conquered every ridge and mountain,
Dominating towns around the state,
Blowing first from east, then from west,
New moon hiding its face till none felt blessed
As gale forced its way for hours, uprooting trees,
Closing roads, this mother of storms,
This sister of storms pouring rain,
Overflowing streams, flooding basements,
Lakes expanding shorelines, until
Light failed and all were powerless.
 
On Sunday night, the silence reigned.
On Monday, there was murmuring
Among closed stores; Tuesday came as
Talking turned to impotent anger.
Wednesday brought the march of
Militia boots not seen in 234 years,
Muskets traded for chainsaws….
This time not to erect a barricade across
Main Street but to clear the streets of
Fallen trees as senator and congressman
Bewailed and led an even-tempered
Chorus of complaint.  State of emergency
Was declared as sirens wailed, while in the dark
Constant thrum of generators was heard
Throughout long moonless nights.
 
Where were the plans to clear the clutter?
Where were the trucks, the crews to
Restore the power?  Each day again we
Learned what was the same as the day before,
Without remission, without prediction—
Three lashes for lack of diligence is due.
 
O the night Irene blew into town,
Let me count the ways we learned to cope…
Free ice was nice, rotting food taken to open dump,
Democrats and Republicans joined in unity—
Three lashes for lack of diligence to the
Nameless officials who failed to plan
For the night Irene blew into town.

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2 thoughts on “The Night Irene Came into Town

  1. This gives a great impression of exactly what it was like! I marvel at your ability to describe it so well…and to give vent to my own feelings about it too!

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