I am not a victim of Hurricane Sandy.
Neither am I a hero nor a particularly keen observer.
I’m just here in New York, participating in my life
Itself unremarkable but for its uniqueness
And only thus equal to those of all others.
Sad with those whose pain
Is overwhelmed by suffering,
Envious of those with strength and determination
To lose themselves in service
With jealousy, too, for those whose words and photos
Have done so much to convey this moment to the world.
Friend Annie from Rockaway Park
Slept two nights on our couch
Glued by tortured imagination
To televised images of chaotic reality
Then replaced by Stepson David,
Just moved into an apartment 42 stories high
In a building without electricity
He firmly focused on next steps.
Some time spent in an emergency shelter
Serving bacon, eggs, pancakes and coffee
To grateful, subdued, nameless strangers,
Some time at a seniors center phoning
Inviting folks to a Thanksgiving feast
(“Travel should be possible by the 18th.”)
–Needed, then not needed at a hospice–
A contribution to the Red Cross inspired
By rock ‘n’ roll.
I attend a presentation on Taoism
& Relationships, another on the Book of Job,
One more on Issues in Buddhism
Watch an old movie, Chocolat.
Vacuum! Cook! Drink tequila.
Friends from The Bronx come to dinner
Bringing red velvet cake and their love.
Return DVDs and CDs to the library
And the laundry—after the tragedy, the laundry.