Sunday, May 15, 2011

A poem for Christchurch


Roars and tears, screams and sirens
Image after image, all we can do is watch
It wasn't your time; it was ours.
We were supposed to be the ones who crumbled and cried
But instead it was you and all we can do is watch.
The spineless snake that crawled up from the depths
One you never knew existed
Shattered your lives, your city, your heart.
Stole the spire from the cathedral; ripped out the heart of the city.
We knew our snake well.
He shattered our city in 1855 and 1942.
Wellington, get ready for the big one, they said.
Fill up your water bottles, buy your torches, canned food, batteries.
For you are next.
Instead we turn on the radio, the television, and see the carnage they promised us 304km south.
February 22, 2011, 12.51pm.
Dust clouds hover over the streets like New York City ten years ago.
We are glued to our televisions as we were ten years ago.
The images burn into our minds, never to be forgotten
Like those of the brothers, falling to their deaths.
People running, screaming, crying, shaking.
Bloodied, battered, broken.
Then we scramble to help.
Food, water, people.
We do everything we can, because one day, it might be us.
Our plight is heard around the world.
They offer their prayers, their money, their manpower.
It brings tears to the eyes.
Knowing the compassion of humankind still exists much hatred and violence.
Knowing our tiny country can reach the hearts of the world.
Those poor kiwis, they say.
We love New Zealand, it is paradise, they say.
And then Japan was hit with a wave of destruction
Leaving death and nuclear disaster in its wake
The world's sympathies turned to them.
And now, the people of the garden city slowly pick up their lives
They build a new city, a stronger city that will withstand Mother Nature's violent wrath.
And the capital city lies in wait for its turn.

*Copyright Sarah Hardie 2011

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