How to Survive a Flash Flood

Sometimes, the rain in our lives comes so heavy and fast
That it floods the rivers of our minds and our hearts
Debris from our lives is swept downstream
And whatever is familiar is dismantled

One piece at a time, I have been practicing losing things
Losing people, losing things
Death of my father
Loss of friendships
Loss of marriage
Loss of stability
Loss of safety, or what feels like it
And now I battle the fear of losing something precious to me,
Which I have clung to like a safety device.

It’s so tempting to fight the current.
My heart rebels.
There are times when it screams up so forcefully
From my chest, it leaves my mouth a gaping hole
With nothing but an echo of the wind that escapes

But the best way to survive a flood is not to swim
The best way to survive
Is to not try to escape
Instead, you should point your feet downstream, and float on the current
Breathe with the motion of the water.
When it goes up, so do you – take a breath.
When it goes down, close your mouth – and let the water splash over your face.

Only when the deluge passes can you climb out.

And so I can only accept more loss, not knowing when it will end.
If my house is dismantled, then I can build it anew wherever I may land.
For now, lying on my back in the raging water,
I look up at the moon in an electric blue sky.

Read more of my poetry.

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