Mimi Moriarty

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Disaster Response


I have shrugged myself from the routine of caring --
disaster all around, prophesies cited,Artwork by Gene McCormick
so many brooding officials placing
blame on the shoulders of others.


I wonder if my elegy should be read aloud
or buried along with the bodies,
attempts to honor the missing,
presumed dead and departed.
It occurs to me that maybe
they are on the outskirts
having slipped through,
or prescient and therefore out of state.


Sprawled in an easy chair
I hit the remote, the blank
screen a habitat of denial.
In my journal I compose
anxiety, disgust, distraction. 
My husband enters the room
to kiss me good night
but I do not respond.


Water bottle at my side
full larder, warm blankets
clean underwear, cherished artifacts
soft rain petaling the roof
my journal on my lap

Something madder than diseased
cows takes over, something blanker
than the dull screen.

I scrawl a confession:                        
I am not willing
to trade my comfort
to lessen the suffering.


Wiped away, my benevolence disappears
as if it were under the insistent swoosh
of a windshield wiper
Such a common name for such a divine appliance


The moon will rise over Pakistan tonight
just enough for the men to keep digging
and the women to keep wrapping, wrapping
bodies with their silken saris, just enough.


Mimi Moriarty is a poet living in a log home overlooking the Hudson Valley of New York.  She has two chapbooks published by Finishing Line Press: War Psalm, which came out in 2007, and Sibling Reverie, co-authored with her brother, Frank Desiderio, published in the spring of 2012.  A third chapbook, Crows Calling, will be published by Foothills Press in 2013.