News Poetry: “Panic in Texas”

Mi hija, I promised you, I would never let you go. I told you over
and over until you could no longer hear me; the storm so loud, I
was yelling, “You’re ok, we’re safe, Mama won’t let anything
happen to you.”  Holding you so tight, I thought I might hurt you.
I didn’t know what else to do except pray to God and our Mother
to keep us safe.  We huddled in the small closet. Our house
overlooked infinity; water so big we never could see the other
side. Then, it was no longer just a roar.  The air around us, so
loud I thought we would disintegrate, shatter into atoms by sound
alone. It came so fast, so completely, wind and rain blasting us.
It was as if all the oceans came together and decided to move
onto land.  I don’t know when I let you go.  I call out your name.
My words are swallowed by the wind around me.  I am frantic.  I
can’t breathe. The water has moved in and is beginning to rise.

From naked tree tops,
pruned by hooks of beaten spears,
babies rock on boughs


*A haibun is a Japanese form that includes prose and haiku.


Photo credit: Brant Kelly, Creative Commons, Flickr 

Karen Betstadt is vice-president of Foothills Columbine Poetry Society. The sun slowly slips behind dull grey light sealed clouds the rose blooms bright red