Natasha Trethewey


Providence


What's left is footage:
the hours before Camille,
1969—hurricane parties,
palm trees leaning in the wind,
fronds blown back, a woman's hair.
Then after: the vacant lots,
boats washed ashore,
a swamp where graves had been.
I recall how we huddled
all night in our small house,
moving between rooms,
emptying pots filled with rain.
The next day, our house
on its cinderblocks—seemed
to float in the flooded yard:
no foundation beneath us,
nothing I could see tying
us to the land. In the water,
our reflection trembled,
disappeared when I bent
to touch it.

Submitted: Thursday, February 27, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

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