A Tsunami Advisory

She asks if you’re awake.

Your eyes struggle open.

Her silhouette blurry in your tent’s doorway
against the morning’s overcast sky.

Your throat attempts a word.

She tells you not to panic —
a volcano erupted across the ocean;
the National Weather Service said
there’s a chance for a tsunami
along the coast where you’re camping.
“Not a warning, an advisory.”

You nod your head, eyes closing.

She zips the tent flap closed as she leaves.

Brisk air bites your face,
which peeks out of your cocoon.
You see waves tower over the shore,
lift your tent, rip its stakes out of the ground.
You wonder whether
you and your sleeping bag would float
along the surf to the cranberry fields down the road.

You wonder whether
that would be the worst outcome.
You see your classroom; your students;
a painted rock gifted by one, defaced
with a slur by another, left under your desk.
You feel failure, consider the possibility
they would be better off with another teacher.

You remind yourself:
your brain does this all the time,
there is evidence to the contrary.

You can’t see any.

2 thoughts on “A Tsunami Advisory

  1. Your writing leaves me in such a quiet, contemplative place… This piece has a sense of foreboding and self-doubt and pain. Your words are so simple and so effective, and piercingly so. My heart feels cut-up when reading the part about the rock under the desk, and the final line is haunting and so forlorn. And, as always,. the end result is a sort of poignant beauty and deep thoughtfulness. I really admire your talent. This is wonderful writing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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