​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

​Sandra kolankiewicz

Incidental Flood

The morning, warmer than the afternoon, 
          no sun to go down.  The sky merely tilted, 

then slid to black, the river roaring but 
          invisible behind the trees once light was 

gone.  The thaw had begun somewhere up north 
          while we stayed deep in winter, temperature 

ignoring the calendar.  By the time 
          the water rose beyond the banks, everyone 

was safe, the predicted parameters 
          of flood accurate, no one surprised, even 

those who had nearly lost everything, still
           clutching rescued photographs in hotel rooms 

out on the pike, their belongings either
           carried up to some second floor or off the 

plain altogether if they had time and 
          a truck.  How long must you wait to return 

to a place you said you’d never go back 
          to, waiting for ice to melt so that water 

can recede, a mild hysteria part 
          of the daily, even up on higher ground.

Sandra Kolankiewicz's poems and stories have appeared most recently in New World Writing, BlazeVox, Gargoyle, Fifth Wednesday, Prick of the Spindle, Per Contra, and Pif. Her bookTurning Inside Out won the Black River Prize at Black Lawrence Press. Finishing Line Press has just published The Way You Will Go.