Six days without electricity tests your mettle. The experience will tell you why you were not born a hundred years ago. Three days into New Hampshire's ice storm, the adventure wore off for me. Gone was the crystal woodland, here to stay were snapped power poles, trips to the school tap for buckets of water and wood stove stew gleaned from food in the garage that had to be used up. Life was a repetition of survival tasks.
By candlelight, I experimented with the pantoum form again. I needed a poem that reflected the monotony I was feeling!
Trees bow crystal crowns to the ground,
break as diamonds snap them down.
Stretched and severed by nature’s whim,
power lies tangled in bough and limb.
Break! As diamonds tinkle all around,
wood is hauled and water found.
While power lies tangled in bough and limb,
it’s hobo stew with a pioneer grin.
More wood is hauled, more water found.
Whose generator makes that groaning sound?
Hobo stew loses its pioneer flavor,
scorched by a wood stove misadventure.
Your generator makes that groaning sound?
You’re offering the steamiest shower in town?
Scorched by wood stove misadventures,
I bathe myself in luxurious lather because
you offered the town’s steamiest shower.
Stretched and severed by nature’s power,
I bathe myself in luxurious lather and picture
trees bowing crowns to my generator.