[Editors' note: This is the third in a three-part series about the recent rains and dam break on Kauai.]
by Pam Woolway
Fifty foot wave
Lids tangled trees with rooftops;
Avalanche of mud, wood & bone
Swarms down Wailapa Stream,
Hacking, a crevice into a canyon
Forests of trees snap free,
Lighting the sky with invisible fireworks, loping
Over asphalt and earth
Offering mud, wood & bone;
Delivered to the sea.
We wake her at 4 am from her slumber,
in the cottage by Wailapa Stream.
Imagine a locomotive snarling
Down on her house.
We tell her to get in the car. Drive
away from this valley.
We replay the fifty-foot wave;
teeth of Ironwood, chewing
house parts to splinters with red mud saliva.
The moment in reverse,
We call to her,
“Get out, the reservoir is about to breach!”
She wakes the man beside her.
They glide through a dark hall,
the unmade bed,
sheets kicked to the bottom edge,
the front door left ajar.