by Mandy Moe Pwint Tu
Nargis hits and we belch out thought and memory.
Overturned electric lines crackle with teeth.
The water comes up to my knees.
Dad says we’ll be okay
But we went to Po Po’s in the middle of the night
Last night and no one answered.
At school they tell us the story of a family
Up a coconut tree. The daughter begs,
Don’t let me go and loses her grip.
Lear’s storm is nothing compared to this —
We imagine tragedy in the classroom
But the verandas are not the height of coconut trees
And survival is not all that we know.
On the way back home
The electrical line is cut. An old tree has fallen
Upon it: a sacrifice to memory.
The wind knocks the neighbor’s mango tree
Against our washed-out wall, ripe boughs bending.
Mother greets us at the door with an empty tray.
We open the shutters and let the fruits fall in.