The Great Flood
by Catherine Kanaan
I was ten when the flood came
and my town lost its geography
the conjuncture of leftover rains
from a hurricane down south
full moon and high tide
Long Island Sound crept steadily
over the beach and across the road
looking neither left nor right
past the green where we had beach school
to merge with the harbour on the other side
the Saugtuck burst its banks and
over main street and beyond
an eerie silence hung over the town
I longed for a canoe to paddle
past the Remarkable Book Shop
Oscars Deli The Selective Eye
and farther into the mangrove swamps
of red sugar maple and russet oaks
into the unchartered territory
of the Post Road to discover
hillocks islands and waterways
of the changed landscape of my home
The X Rated Rough
" Sitting on the rough floor
drew the first letters
ith forefinger in pink sand."
One swipe of some other kids hand
and they were gone!
I've hated bully's with a passion
They called me names so I became insular
- a loner,
the fat kid with tits
and a little willy
School was a living hell
from which I progressively withdrew
into my own world.
Every grain of sand in that sand pit
formed a bead on my abacus
- a counter on which to record old scores.
A diamond on which to engrave my poetry
- my words
set to outlive all
including those teachers who so readily wrote me off
in their annual reports branding me
That fine sand the soft canvas on which I learned to make love
to many a bully's curious sister. They come to me in twos and threes
to this day along with the occasional daughter.
And, I show em how the blood enters my pecker and
fills it up.
How the swollen shaft then enters and carves my name
in their hearts.
All but one, at least, now dearly loved friends
having deposited themselves in their own personal space
in the hollow of my chest.
Each an experience treasured.
Golden like sand.