We sit in our wheelchairs while the dark waters rise,
clutch walkers amidst the brown swirl, set our purses
as high as we can over the sewer run-off, trying to spare
the photos of our younger selves, their still-hopeful faces.
Some of us know where we are, know we might be here
for hours, days, as long as it takes. Others have already left
on cracked paths inward, retreating into worlds where
we are whole and matter.
The staff hands us bottles of water as if they were life buoys.
We shake them like snow globes, curious what settles. The silt
oozes in our socks, and we sense that even were we buried,
we would float free and bob in the current.
‘Need help ASAP.’ The story behind the photo of nursing home residents trapped in hurricane flood water [TIME]
Devon Balwit writes in Portland, OR. She is a poetry editor for Minute Magazine and has five chapbooks out or forthcoming: How the Blessed Travel (Maverick Duck Press); Forms Most Marvelous (dancing girl press); In Front of the Elements (Grey Borders Books), Where You Were Going Never Was (Grey Borders Books); and The Bow Must Bear the Brunt (Red Flag Poetry). Her individual poems can be found in The Cincinnati Review, Fifth Wednesday, The Stillwater Review, Red Earth Review, The Fourth River, Posit, Emrys Journal, The Inflectionist, and more.