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The Night Before Hurricane

'Twas the night before hurricane
When all through the state
Not a gas pump was pumping
Not a store open late.

All the plywood was hung
On the windows with care
Knowing that a hurricane
Soon would be there.

The children were ready
With flashlights in hand
While bands from the hurricane
Covered over the land.

And mamma with her Mag-Lite
And I in my cap
Had just filled the bathtub
For flushing our crap.

When out on the lawn
There arose such a clatter
I sprang from the closet
To see what was the matter.

The trees on the fence
And the neighbor's roof torn
Gave the fear of us dying
In this terrible storm.

With a little wind gust
So lively and quick
I remembered quite clearly
Our walls weren't brick.

More rapid than eagles
Her courses they came
And she whistled, and wafted
And surged all the same.

Off shingles! Off sidings!
Off rooftops! Off power!
Down trees! Down fences!
Down trailers! Down towers.

In the south of Florida
She continued to maul
Screaming Blow Away!
Blow Away! Blow Away All.

As wind ripped and tossed
The debris through the sky
I peeked out the shutters
At cars floating by.

So go to the safe-room
My family did do
With a portable radio
And batteries too.

And then, in a twinkling
I heard on the set
The end was not coming
For a few hours yet.

As I calmed down the kids
And was turning around
Through the window it came
With a huge crashing sound.

A tree branch it was
All covered in soot
The wind blew it smack-dab
On top of my foot.

A bundle of twigs
Now lay in a stack
And my living room looked
Like it was under attack.

The wind - how it howled!
The storm - very scary!
Myself and the family
Were all too unwary.

The dangers of hurricanes
Are serious, you know
They are taken for granted
As Charley did show.

With the winds dying down
And the danger beneath
I noticed my tool shed
Was missing its sheath.

So I grabbed my last tarp
And nailed it on down
Then I got in my car
And I headed to town.

The traffic was awful
And stores had no ice
My five gallon cooler
Would have to suffice.

Generators were scarce
Not one left in town
There were trees on the roads
And power lines down.

FEMA was ready
With people to work
Electrical companies
Came in from New York.

And in the midst of
This peculiar routine
Another storm emerged
Just out in the Ocean.

I sprang to the car
And gave my family a whistle
Then away we all went
Like a Tomahawk missile.

You could hear us exclaim
As we drove out of sight
"The hell with this place,
Vermont seems just right!"