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The Aftermath

(Hurricane Rita, Holly Beach, LA, 2005)

by Larry D. Thomas

belied the violence of its passing,
the way, in but hours, the floodwater
receded, leaving the beach
bright as a new toy shining in the sun.

The Gulf acted as if nothing happened,
resuming its ancient business
of machination, bunching into waves
gentle as the mallets of toymakers

hammering shells into tables of sand.
Even the gulls were nonchalant,
reappearing suddenly from nowhere
to blaze the blue vault of heaven.

The only hint of the great storm’s passing
was the plastic, hot pink blade of a child’s
toy shovel embedded two inches deep
into the leeward leaning trunk of a palm.

Larry D. Thomas served as the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate and currently resides in New Mexico. He is proud to be of deep Southern heritage and has published a large number of poems set in the American South. Three of his grandparents were born and reared in Tennessee, and his paternal great-grandfather was born in Mississippi. A previous contributor of poems to Deep South, his most recently published collection of poetry is titled In a Field of Cotton: Mississippi River Delta Poems (Blue Horse Press).

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