Irma’s Dance Poem

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Written by Dr Robert Ippaso (Old Ratcliffian Class of ’73) who lives in Naples, Florida, who experienced the eye of Hurricane Irma and was moved to write this poem about his experience.

 Irma’s Dance

Now it’s here, then it’s there,
No one knows, few yet care.
First the islands then the Keys,
Irma’s dancing in her breeze. 

Twirling, jostling ever moving,
To her beat she’s deftly grooving,
Thunder, lightning winds galore,
Not a lady to ignore. 

Then all at once its devastation,
From this wild child of God’s creation,
Houses shattered, trees uprooted,
Her blind fury undisputed. 

So much anger, willful wrath
To all she touches on her path,
Lives disrupted, people fleeing,
Others praying, death now fearing. 

Minutes, hours, time unending,
Her strength growing, will unbending,
Spinning, twisting, now quite manic,
Children crying in sheer panic. 

In a flash as if by chance,
Irma stops her furious dance,
The rain ceases, the sky brightens,
Our breath lengthens, the mood lightens. 

We peer outwards eyes wide open,
Through torn foliage, branches broken,
Urging, hoping, she’s departed
Down her path as yet uncharted. 

Then a sound as a shrill laughter,
Gathering speed forever faster,
The wind is on us, the Palms bending,
The vortex growing, unrelenting. 

Grinning, scowling she looks down,
Menacing eyes, burrowed frown,
Little caring any obstruction,
As she sows wanton destruction. 

Tired and cowered we just hide,
To await her passing tide,
Walls vibrating, windows shaking,
In our safe zone huddled, quaking 

Then it ends as it began,
With no warning, no set plan.
Dazed and battered, bent and cringing
To the door we’re slowly inching. 

The midday sky shines cobalt blue,
Could it be we’ve all pulled through?
Now there’s hope and nervous laughter,
Our hearts beating that much faster. 

A week has passed as we recall,
Our special time at Irma’s Ball,
What a story to be told,
Destined never to grow old.

RAI 9/17  ©