Tsunami by Pris Campbell


South Florida traffic has trickled down
from a tsunami to a small stream.
No more blue-haired ladies knocking
down lane cones, countless ears
glued to cell phones or Porsches
racing for the bridge to Palm Beach,
home of old money and Trump.

The silence, in this time
of Covid-19 is eerie.

I lie curled in the back seat, body on fire,
dizzy as being on a merry-go-round,
after a few minutes sitting up.

My driver slams on the brakes repeatedly,
tossing me forward in today’s rare outing
from my home to a medical appointment.

She’s angry today, despite her forced smile.
I can walk 50 steps on a good day,
limp muscles and balance problems
having entered my life
twenty nine years ago and counting,
Today is way more than 50 steps
so she must push me
in my transport chair.

She hates the chair, asks me
weekly when I can walk in,
complains that I’m not getting better,

I wish I was a crashing wave,
strong and powerful again,
surging against some hidden beach,
sea shells rolling before me,
sun warm on my arms.

Perhaps, then, old friends who deserted
might turn, like the tide,
and come back to me.

img_2555The poems of Pris Campbell have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including PoetsArtists, Rusty Truck, Bicycle Review, Chiron Review, and Outlaw Poetry Network. The Small Press has published eight collections of her poetry and Clemson University Press a collaboration with Scott Owens. When The Wolves Come After You, with Michael Parker, from Goss Publications and Squalls on the Horizon, a book of tanka, from Nixes Mate and My Southern Childhood are her most recent small press books. A former Clinical Psychologist, sailor and bicyclist until sidelined by ME/CFS in 1990, she makes her home in the Greater West Palm Beach, Florida, with her husband.

11 Replies to “Tsunami by Pris Campbell”

  1. This poem is powerful – and so sadly real – the pain, the lack of respect and basic caring, and the desertion of friends.
    To return to the sea…

  2. Hey Miss Pris, I am so sorry to read that you are being treated this way. Read your other two pieces that you posted recently and your writing, as always, hits the mark, and then some. Your beauty and dear heart always shines thru.

    Much love, S.A.

  3. I miss you too my dear, you’re one of the only things I miss about being on Facebook. I am just so sad to read how you are being treated, it’s bullshit. That you could take such circumstance and turn it into poetry is amazing. As I suggest, your writing never fails. Never.

  4. Fugitive time is on the run and an old man has been washed up here by the tide to say hello… and hope you’re doing fine. Enjoyed this piece.

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