Disaster Number 4498

requires a death certificate,
cause clearly stated;
an invoice, itemized,

the date of our disaster —
your demise — the cost
of which can be

deftly monetized in
America, where
any harm may be

codified, indemnified
in that coarse ledger,
as if we should be, could be,

compensated, reparated;
our fragments
made whole.

Dear FEMA, transacting
loss in your profane tongue,
the only language you know:

We are not ungrateful;
no one is buried cheaply
in these United States. Yet

we are more consoled
by the casserole left on
the stoop, how it

pretends nothing;
the honesty of its mute
and humble inadequacy.




  1. A sad reality … one of several COVID-triggered awarenesses. I’m starting to sound like my parents did years back referring to the “good old days” … alas, there is no gear to shift into reverse on this planet …. and today’s youth will eventually think 2020s were the “good old days”. Sad.


    1. It IS true, isn’t it? As we move through various phases of our lives, we adopt perspectives different from those of our youth, and start to understand why our parents and grandparents felt as they did.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said, Cate. Humanity ends when everything is assigned a dollar amount. There are times when I fear we may be closer than we hope.


    1. Thanks, Russ. At a core level, I find the notion of reparations curiously … ignorant. Money can certainly help people as a practical matter, which perhaps I undervalue as someone who is not poor. Still, there’s this implication — life shouldn’t happen to us — that just doesn’t sit well with me. Life does happen to us, and that cannot — and should not, I somehow feel — be something for which we are compensated in money. This is life in all its messiness. Nothing is wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: