Brown waters sweep over the banks,
flood the farms on one side of the river,
the town, on the other.
Squirrels scramble to the tops of trees.
Families eye the rooftops for possible safe harbor.
They wonder, should we leave or stay?
The answer is a cop going door to door.
It’s too late to save
the bedding, the stuffed animals,
the books, the photographs.
The orders are
if it doesn’t breathe
it has no place
on higher ground.
Main Street is awash.
Corn goes under.
Boats drift warily between fallen wires
in search of stragglers.
A cow looks sadly out
over the rising tide,
its dark blank eyes
Finally, the water retreats
and though there was nothing we could have done,
we still have our regrets –
like the ruined wedding dress,
that favorite carpet caked with silt
anything that survived the ordeal
in order to be thrown away.
By John Grey