At Twelve, My First Flood | John Grey

The coffins aren’t popping like corn
despite what some kid at school says.
Sure, the water level’s rising
and there’s pressure from below old skeletons
but the dead are cocooned
in six feet of dense earth.
They’re not going anywhere.

It’s the cars that float like coffins
down Main Street.
And it’s everybody’s trash,
the bones of the way we live,
that is swept up by new currents.
Two days of solid rain
and the river’s overflown its banks.
The natural’s out of order.
But departed loved ones
play no part in this catastrophe.
Sure people weep…
but over ruined furniture and carpets.
It’s a flood not an exhumation.

From our second-door window,
we watch a disaster movie unfold.
But it’s not a horror show.
That’s for the hearts of the ones
who have to clean up this mess.
And our understanding
is only what we see.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dalhousie Review, Thin Air and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Qwerty, Chronogram and failbetter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s