Poem with an explanation: guilt

On the outskirts,
hearing the thunder,
seeing the lightening,
and in the darkness,
wondering.

In the light of morning,
through the glass,
a breeze is blowing,
and all is calm.

In the light of morning,
through the glass,
the river rages,
and all is gone.

In the field,
having dodged the bullet,
seeing the form,
upon the ground.

It seems injustice,
to sit in the breeze,
while the river rages,
so nearby.

It seems injustice,
to feel the thoughts,
then turn the eyes,
to something new.

 

This poem is about the guilt that comes with being near a natural disaster, but not severely impacted by it personally.  Think of someone, for example, in the area where Hurricane Harvey hit, but they and their home are fine.  They see all the devastation on television and feel a sense of guilt that, although they are part of it, they aren’t experiencing what others are experiencing.

In the first stanza, the person is on the outskirts of the impacted area.  They hear the thunder and see the lightening, as the storm happens around them.  At night, they look out at the rain, and wonder if their house will flood.

In the second stanza, the day after the rain ends, the person, in the morning, looks out their window and sees nice weather and that all is peaceful.  Their home did not flood.

In the third stanza, after the person looks through their window, they turn on their television.  They see the flood waters and the destruction.

The fourth stanza switches the scene.  It uses the metaphor of a battlefield.  The person in the poem is shown as standing in a battlefield.  They have just had the terrifying moment of being closely missed by a bullet.  As they stand there in shock, they see someone dead next to them, who the bullet hit.  This is a metaphor for their situation.  The storm came near to them, but impacted someone else.

In the fifth stanza, the person feels guilt that they are alright, while nearby, there is devastation.

In the sixth stanza, the person realizes how they feel.  They realize that they feel bad about what is happening, but more so, that they will soon turn to something else.  They feel bad that they are going to get on with their lives as if nothing happened.

In terms of form, the poem has six stanzas.  The first stanza has five lines and all of the rest have four.  The first two lines of stanzas two and three are the same.  In stanzas two and three, the first three words of the fourth lines are the same.  The first lines of stanzas five and six are the same.

Poem series: Weather: Number Five

The wind blows,
and leaves shake,
and the rain beats against the window.
It’s dark,
but daytime.
The power may go out.
The ground fills with water.
Trees move in the wind –
they may fall down.
Branches fall.
The wind makes a rush of sound.
The rain blows across instead of falling down.
This lasts for hours,
not minutes,
like in other times.
It does not have a slow rise,
then a peak,
then a fall.
The rise is quick,
things are dark quickly,
and the peak keeps going.
The windows may break.
The door of the porch,
opens and shuts.