Sunday, September 19, 2010


3. waiting for a specific event

Aftershocks, Christchurch

You were waiting for the Big One.
It came. Now, groaning, the plates
force roads and pathways to contort
shudder you awake, more and more
wide-eyed, thirty-nine times in one day
twenty the next.  It's all the Big One
you're reluctant to understand, and
trying to stand without solid ground
liquefies the mind; adrenalin surges
attack the heart* of who you thought
you were; you stay home, move only
in a dance with the incessant shakes.
It has got you by the throat, this traitor.
And as you talk about going back
to work, to your life, to those you love
the earth grips your intentions, twists,
wrenches, until you get the message:
there is nothing to go back to; there is 
only a future that hasn't happened yet.

* It was reported in the newspaper that
the local hospital took in 4 times as many 
heart patients in the week following the
severe earthquake centred on Christchurch
(South Island, New Zealand)
on 4th September 2010

1 comment:

  1. I've never been there, and yet I know people who were seriously affected.

    That's sobering - and startling - about the effect on the heart.