What's left is footage: the hours before
parties, palm trees leaning
in the wind,
fronds blown back,
a woman's hair. Then after:
the vacant lots,
boats washed ashore, a swamp
where graves had been. I recall
how we huddled all night in our small house,
moving between rooms,
emptying pots filled with rain.
The next day, our house—
on its cinderblocks—seemed to float
in the flooded yard: no foundation
beneath us, nothing I could see
tying us to the land.
In the water, our reflection
when I bent to touch it.
Natasha Trethewey, "Providence" from Native Guard. Copyright © 2007 by Natasha Trethewey. Reprinted by permission of Natasha Trethewey.
Source: Native Guard
(Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007)
Poems by Natasha Trethewey