The Wake Of The Flood
Peter V. Dugan
Boats from marinas miles away
washed across highways, carried
down Reynolds Channel, swept up
Mill River and Swift Creek
beached on fairways and bunkers
of Bay Park Golf Course.
Further up river at East Rockaway High School,
the newly renovated auditorium
lies in ruins, all seats submerged
except those in the balcony.
The gymnasium floor, its
wood warped, resembles ocean waves,
complete with fish and crabs.
Cars and trucks are immobile,
askew in parking lots and on lawns.
Sink holes erode streets;
branches and uprooted trees block roads,
crush cars and lean on homes.
Television, telephone, internet cable
and power lines torn down,
communication and information cut off
or extremely limited.
Up river and up the road
a woman finds her undamaged hot tub,
still filled with water, standing alone
in the center of Lister Ball Field.
At night total darkness envelopes
the neighborhood, save for the flash lights
and lanterns inside occupied houses.
The smell of low tide, sewerage
and burnt gas and oil permeates the air.
The sound of autumn crickets drowned out
by the drone of generators.
The next day, piles of carpet, furniture,
and other remnants and wreckage
form mounds in driveways and on front lawns.
Someone plants the American Flag atop one.
Curbside I find a child's index card
from school, labeled #10 and it reads:
"Fearing death for himself and the rest of the men,
they decide to build boats and float them down
the Mississippi in hope of finding a Spanish settlement."
The Wake Of The Flood by Peter V. Dugan.
Published with author's permission.