The fascination of the day, the word
cutting a deep groove in her mind
like urgent rainwater: flood—
“when it rains and rains and rains
and water rises and rises and sweeps cars
down the street,” she says with a flourish of lips
and arms after watching a YouTube montage—
Pennsylvania towns like Bloomsburg
and Hershey drowning in September, 2011.
“You were a baby,” I tell her,
“so you don’t remember your stroller ride
down muddy Broad Street, Montoursville,
after the Loyalsock receded.”
We gawked at ruined homes; she napped
to the drone of Shop-Vacs and water pumps.
“Our town flooded?” she asks and waits.
A speck of Ark floats in each wide blue eye.
Shanna Powlus Wheeler directs the Writing Center at Lycoming College. Her poetry chapbook, Lo & Behold, was published by Finishing Line Press. Individual poems of hers have appeared in a wide range of magazines and journals, including Literary Mama and The Mom Egg. She lives with her husband and daughter near Williamsport, PA.