After the Storm by Michael Paul Hogan

After the Storm

Wading knee-deep
for six-pack and cigarettes
I watch my feet,
three inches from my knees,
under a foot of water
negotiate the curb.

They look like two fish
hugging the tarmac bottom,
trying to turn some silt
onto themselves. Their eyes
stare up at me, trailing
four broken-off hooks.

In the package store
my sneakers slap slap
between the aisles of tinned fruit
and cornflakes. Mrs Morales
wraps up the dry goods
in a mermaid’s purse.

Wading back home
I stop while a car swims
past the front of our house,
a bottle-nose Chevy
sending ripples
right up to the screen door.

Three days of rain
have filled the garden up.
The clothes line is no higher
than a tennis net.
A pelican sits on the fence-pole,
surprised at itself.

In the Florida room
my wife is sweeping out water
so heavy with sand
it holds the track of the bristles.
The hem of her dress sags
like a broken wing.

I open two beers
and a pack of Luckies,
and reach up and spin
the ceiling fan with the flat
of my hand. It turns once
and runs aground.

by Michael Paul Hogan

Michael on Facebook

Editor’s Note: In this poem, simile and metaphor describe the surreality of a flood. The clean imagery and short lines convey how it feels when the ground becomes water, and home becomes unfamiliar.

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