What The Storm Holds
by Ronnie Sirmans
The hurricane gnaws at our beaches
at the Northwest Florida-Alabama line
as if shores were gritty pieces of gristle,
grabs gangling trees for toothpicks before
tossing them onto creaking tabletop roofs,
and carelessly spills water and more water
into the streets where our wet-vacs cower.
The hurricane swirls like smooth creamer
into hot coffee, but meteorologists make it
look blood red as they point on their maps
to danger here and here and headed here.
This is what the storm holds. Yet, we are
reminded when the waves and the wind
crash in from the latest Gulf storm: even
destruction carries glimpses of wonder.
As ravenous surf scours what we have,
a flash of pink on the shoreline catches
our eyes. Spindly legs, feathered fluff.
Two flamingos walk in the sand as if
they have lived here for years with us,
as if the cyclonic winds had breathed
life into some cheap lawn ornaments.
We stare, ignoring nature’s fury and
watch wide wings take flight before
the eye passes silently like a miracle.
Ronnie Sirmans is a metro Atlanta newspaper journalist whose poems have appeared in Tar River Poetry, The South Carolina Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Light, The Museum of Americana, Third Wednesday and elsewhere. Read his previous poems in Deep South Magazine here. Follow him on Twitter at @RonSirmans.