Debris of a derecho

On June 29, many residents of the D.C. area learned a new word: “derecho,” which is an intense windstorm. We were traveling in California when it hit, but were able to see the devastating results all over the internet and Facebook. During a time of record heat, the power outages throughout the area – which silenced air conditioning units, computers, refrigerators, ATMs, gas stations, and traffic lights – revealed how dependent our modern lives are upon electricity.

For most, the electricity is back, and the record heat is a memory, but the East Coast humidity is thick, exacerbated by a light morning rain. I thought today of J.D. Smith’s poem “Humid Continental” (from his book Settling for Beauty), which beautifully conveys the metamorphosis that such weather makes possible. Here’s an excerpt:

It is better to let moisture

work its way into things,

sheets of paper that curl

at the corners and revert

to ancestral scrolls,

a wooden door swelling

in its swollen doorjamb.

To open that door and walk out

would take a hard pull,

an act of will.

But it is better

to let unfurl from the wood

small, then greater fungi

shaped like trumpets and like drums.

Someone should attend their still recital.

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2 thoughts on “Debris of a derecho

    • Hi Marina! We were lucky to only read about the derecho – no damage to house, trees, or people. Hope you are all ok. Are you up for going to the artists’ salon on Saturday?

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