October, 2016

Poetry

Our Hurricane Matthew

The question was asked:
Do you fear Hurricane Matthew?
A wry sigh.
A quiet laugh.
Don’t you know I’ve lived with my own
private Hurricane Matthew for 13 years?

Children are like hurricanes — fearsome in their glory.
Unpredictable.

Our little joke:
After he was born, I waited … but the
Instruction manual never came.

The paths of hurricanes are not easily predicted.
We’ve evacuated for 12 hurricanes, but only 2 have hit our area.

One never knows.

And yet…
Unpredictable as outcomes may be …
They are still amenable to management.
We run from the winds …
Or board up the building …
Or accumulate food and water and medicine and fuel.
The unpredictable becomes manageable.

So we teach children
Techniques and values and disciplines.

Sometimes they resist.
Sometimes they blossom.

This Matthew, OUR Matthew,
Like a hurricane, goes his own path.

What can we do but pray?

Most people don’t understand bar mitzvah.
They think it is a party.

But it is about taking on responsibility.

We cannot control the winds that blow,
And we cannot live in the future with our children.
Yet here they diverge, for a hurricane cannot choose.

But children can.
And they will.

A bar mitzvah is not mostly party.
It is about assuming responsibility.

It is about decisions carrying moral weight.

And parents, watching with pride,
At how something so unpredictable
Could be loved so much.                                   — BY JIM PREVOR