Driven, like the roiling waves
spilling on to East River walkways,
we citizens, randomly gathered,
observe the storm's effects.
For days we've heard the warnings.
Now it's payoff time. The worst
still hours away — we can indulge
our fear and fascination.
The river has become a sea
powered by wind and a full moon.
Seaweed traces its pattern
of ebb tide, as if adorning a sandy beach.
Seagulls struggle, hover,
make no progress. Their color blends
with gray water, whitecaps, gray sky,
bridges veiled in gray mist.
We are dispersed in little clumps —
family groups with bouncing children,
couples staring, motionless,
scattered men and women
shooting cell phone photos. Behind us
on the river's bikeway
a police car calmly warns
"ladies and gentlemen" to clear out —
You are in a mandatory evacuation zone.
We leave, replaced by others
equally driven, heedless for now.
poetry chapbook, The Music Behind Me, was published in 2012. She has poems in Hospital Drive, Front Porch Review, Poet Lore, Ekphrasis, Third Wednesday, Margie, The Healing Muse, and elsewhere. Retired from the full-time faculty at NYU School of Medicine, she is now adjunct faculty in the Department of Medicine's Division of Medical Humanities. She founded the Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database, an online resource for teaching and scholarship in medical humanities and is on the editorial boards of Bellevue Literary Review and Literature and Medicine. www.feliceaull.com