Op/Ed

Poetry: This brave state of Vermont and its residents

After the Storm

Gratitude to all of you for checking-in.

Calling me in the middle of the night,

to see if I’m not trying to get some sleep,

sleeping on my roof. The water’s that high

in some places in my brave state

of Vermont. Where the rivulets rise

into rivers, after so much rain.

And the lake is our version of a Great Lake.

It could take a week for the Green Mountain

Boys to row themselves across again.

The cows to settle down, drier now

in their stanchions. In places like Addison,

they could be up to their haunches in mud.

If it weren’t for the sun rising again.

Like, Frost might have said, to dry

the beards of giants and elves. To make

the fields ponds not to canoe around.

Even if it’s true sometimes more rain

is good. Say next fall, when the snow

geese are looking for wet spots to go

with dry rows, to eat leftover corn stalks,

drink a night’s worth of spill.

And, for fun, can make boats

of their bodies. Until they have

to rise in the morning. Head south.

Avoid any promise of flooding.

Which, I’m afraid, isn’t the case now.

In mysterious places like Buel’s Gore

and towns named for presidents.

Even dramatically in Weston.

Renowned for its Playhouse.

Where citizens, actors and directors,

are standing in a bucket brigade.

Passing mud and water—a kind of Vermont

cement—from one neighbor to another.

To let the theater open tonight.

Even if the theatergoers—flatlanders

and Vermonters alike—have to wear

their barn boots, crocs and slippers.

Anything to keep their feet dry.

To hold them, if by chance, they have

to watch the orchestra rising from its pit.

Applaud from their reserved seats

on the roof. Which some nights

wouldn’t be such a bad place to imagine

sitting, closer to the stars and clouds.

If it weren’t for the thunder and lightning,

the flooding brook below.

If you didn’t have to check-in.

For which I am grateful.

You, my company of friends

and family and strangers.

The doe, carrying her fawn,

across the washed-out road.

Gary Margolis

Cornwall

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