Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “The Flood,” | Barbara Lydecker Crane

The Flood

By Barbara Lydecker Crane

Migration, 2015

I’m shivering, girls, to talk about that time.

Gramps and I heard sirens, walking home,

and gasped that awful moment we were sure

it was our front door the firemen came out.

A burst sprinkler pipe on your attic floor,

one called. We’re sorry, folks–you have a flood.

 

We rushed into the nightmare of that flood–

alarms blasting for an incessant time–

indoor downpour sloshing over floors.

We ran around our condo, grabbing home’s

best treasures, lugging sodden armfuls out.

The chief intoned, I hope you have insurance.

 

Insurance, girls, is not the same as assurance

that loss can be borne. I crumpled in a flood

as I pictured walls and flooring ripped out,

work to take who-knows-how-much time.

Thank goodness for your nearby home

and your mom, a mainstay; I was floored

by her help. Gramps and I slept on your floor

those first two nights. You said you were sure

that we could stay forevah. It was your home,

though. We had to leave ours after the flood,

put everything in storage. How much time?

We were nomads nine months–not without

 

our tribe, though. Months in, we flew out

west to your Aunt Sarah’s family. That floor

felt fine (we were sleeping pros by that time).

When Sarah nursed baby Paige, I was sure

that I could feel the ache before my flood

of milk letting down for her, in our home

 

long ago. That week out west, my home-
bemoaning shifted, as if I peeked out

through a crack and watched the flood

of fears and losses start to ebb. A floor

was framing up beneath me, assurance

of what matters most. There were times

 

when I’d still wail for the time we’d come home,

but I grew surer that all I couldn’t do without

was family, my floor. That love rushes in a flood.

 

Barbara Lydecker Crane has published two chapbooks, Zero Gravitas and ALPHABETRICKS. The winner of the 2011 Helen Schaible International Sonnet Contest and a Laureate’s Choice award in the 2014 Great River Sonnet Contest, she has recent or forthcoming poems in Angle, Atlanta Review, and Light. 

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