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Be Calm Before

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The Eastern Seaboard holds its breath.

For once, we can each see the face

of the disaster that always hovers, breathing

just out of sight.

Scramble to gather what you need:

Candles and chocolate,

Friends and flashlights,

Batteries, wading boots.

Water turns my thoughts all Biblical:

Noah, floods, Jesus gliding through waves.

There’s a message I finally get(I think),

2,000 years late:

Walking across the stormy lake,

Saying Calm, calm

to the panicked friends in the fishing boat,

You were practical as ever:

Breathe and walk, You said,

Breathe and walk through all the ways the world

smashes into you.

Be calm in the face of this world’s tangled eye.

Calm before the storm

is advice,

not a weather forecast.

This is how to walk on water.

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