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Poetry Pleases: The Flood

Randal Looney got the idea for this poem from a news story a couple years ago. An Arkansas woman had to choose which of her children she was going to save in a flash flood.

We bought that car in '96
A Cougar, electric blue
half paid with the tax return
the year before we had you
it never caused us any concern
the thing met our needs
mostly traveled around the countryside at gravel road speeds

I remember plain as day
when the damn thing stalled on the low water bridge and the creek washed us away

I could barely see out the window the one that you went through
the car filled up with water it was all that I could do
to grab your little body and try to hold on tight
Guess I finally had to let go
'cause there was nothing else I could do
desperation as a last resort still don't make it right

I looked to Jesus for a time
to help me in my search
to give me some comfort
But now I won't go back to church
"The Lord Move In Mysterious Ways"
What the hell is that all about?
If that's true why didn't he stretch out the arms of salvation and lift you safely out?
Now my Momma's Bible sits rotting on the shelf
I'd never believe in heaven again
Not even if Jehovah assured me himself

Your little sister...she's still with us
off to college in the fall
we've kept her close
too close maybe
sheltered her from the world and all
we just felt we couldn't stand to loose another as beautiful as you

but you know all these years
she never asked
and we never volunteered
to tell her why
on a sunny day
we'd smile
and our eyes would fill with tears


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