October 6, 2016, Prescott

Far from here,

mothers slog through the water-logged

streets of Les Cayes and Petit-Goave,

carrying their babies,

to shacks on higher ground.

Their own shanties are now home

to snakes and vermin,

which can better thrive

in a watery place.

An American expatriate,

yesterday lay on the beach

at West End, Grand Bahama.

Today, he sits on his cot,

in a Bahamian Red Cross shelter,

wondering about his faithful dog.

A Cuban woman, dazedly wandering

the streets of Baracoa,

remembers the day

when Pope Francis blessed her.

“What is he thinking”, she wonders,

“about the most powerful storm

to hit Cuba, in decades?”

In Fort Lauderdale,

the image of the Governor

appears on a TV screen.

“Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate”,

he says, as the storm of the century,

plods on- over Lake Wales and Apopka.

In Virginia’s Tidewater,

a young mother gathers her family’s

necessities, for the third time this year.

Matthew has brought water, debris and mud,

change agent that he is.