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John S. Eustis

John S. Eustis is a retired librarian living in Virginia with his wife.  After growing up in Michigan and upstate New York, he enjoyed a long, quiet federal career in Washington, D.C.  His poems have appeared in the Atlanta Review and Lighten Up Online.

The Latest Hurricane

The latest hurricane, a Category Four,
has the same name as my ex-wife,
so whenever the news is on, it comes up
over and over, usually in the context
of how much destruction it is causing—
homes demolished, communities
wiped out, sturdy trees uprooted.

It’s an odd name, not seen much these days,
used more in our grandparents’ generation
(my ex was an ancestor’s namesake).
So it’s a bit jarring to turn on the TV
and hear that word again and again.

They talk about the devastation in its wake
and that sounds about right—the misery,
the wailing, the displacement, all strike a chord.
Only when they bring up the death toll
does it start to feel excessive, overstated.

Let’s turn our focus then to the survivors,
the mopping up, rebuilding, heroic efforts
to rescue pets and people, power restored.
As bad as it seems now, we’ll get through this.
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