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Introduction to Disaster Preparedness
by Jeannine Hall Gailey
While you told me about the bee colony collapse
caused by cell phones or maybe Monsanto and their magic poisons
I was thinking about a friend who said they found a lump
and another friend finishing chemo and waiting for a scan
and a third who said my hair is a disaster and she meant the layers
would take forever to grow out. My house is a disaster, she says, my yard, my outfit.
When you told me my son is autistic I thought of his bright eyes
and beautiful tears. It's not the life you planned. How our minds
and bodies spin apart, like hives of bees confused about whom to follow,
flying further and further out to discover — what? That they'd flown
too far and now are frozen, flightless. How many hives abandoned.
We cannot sleep too far from disaster zones. I saw a tornado once
in my own front yard, and slept through hurricanes, knelt during earthquakes.
Did I pray, did I ask for something then? I only held my breath.
When later asked, Are you okay? I said, Everything is temporary.
From Jeannine Hall Gailey's Field Guide to the End of the World, Moon City Press