MISSION TO TEXAS
(Hurricane Harvey aftermath, 2017)
The drone of drills amidst this constant clamor
Of deconstruction — screw and power saw,
Spoiled insulation piles the hue of straw
Ripped out with force, by crowbar or by hammer —
Is not without a certain, epic glamour.
The noises leave my nerves harassed and raw.
This gutted room is like a gaping jaw
Through which relief is gained as stud guns stammer.
These orange Texans ambushed by the rains
Of Mother Nature, at her cruelty’s height,
These victims whom my crew has come to save —
Are blessed indeed. For not one mouth complains
Of all who risk themselves to heal this site:
The cowboy, and the cleric, and the brave.
— This poem appears in the May 28 print issue of NR.