On the Naming of Hurricanes
Dido. Cleo. Gloria. Katrina.
A force of nature: unpredictable,
violent and devastating—
all thought of shelter swept away?
Men did the naming, naturally. Still
wouldn’t you think they’d name
a work of theirs—a skirmish even—after themselves?
Marathon. Agincourt. Verdun.
Dad went to war. Brought back an olive-drab
canteen, stencilled with his rank and name.
Good box, says my son, lightweight, strong.
Good for keeping stuff in.
His granddad was a silent man.
He found it in the basement where I hide out
when I’m scared I’ll hurt my squabbling kids.
Taut as a darning egg I sit
and watch the furnace leap into flame.
Take it, I tell my boy. Dad’s army box.
Lock up what you please. Just stay clear
of mother’s rage and wars
no general wants to name.