After the Storm by Kelly de la Rocha – Featured Blog Posting at the DYSTENIUM Online Community

After I stood amid random shoes,

half-buried toys and broken bar stools

on a Biloxi beach,

after the smell of mold and dark and desperation

filled my nose,

after I saw roof tarps, shredded to blue confetti, flutter

into muddy yards,

I roofed a waterlogged bungalow in the rain,

I learned to Sheetrock,

I sang gospel songs off-key to the five parishioners

still around to attend a Baptist church

that stood on tippy-toes during Katrina

and somehow stayed intact.

After I was offered cocoa

in one of two porcelain mugs that had survived

the storm surge,

After I became an ant in a pile of debris

with no beginning and no end,

After I cried,

After I thought I had nothing left to contribute,

I found I had words to give.

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