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Mara McWilliams
Poetry

Katrina's Destruction and the Administration's Fumble

September 1, 2005

Five days and still not near enough help.
Cops straight up walking off the job,
leaving only a 50% police force.
A land of marital law
and pure survival skills.
The President all in a flutter
Where is the federal response?

Katrina such a pretty name,
But saying it aloud makes me shudder.
A hurricane like none before seen,
Causing a such national devastation
We sit in anger and frustration.
Highway lanes converted both outbound
To let those who could afford it, OUT.

But what of those sick and penniless?
The indigent where are they to go?
Ya know where they went?
They hid out of fear in attics and died while the levy's break
And water levels began their rise.

Buildings demolished,
Towns underwater.
No drinking water for those left behind,
Seemingly forgotten.
Then the news bitching about people
Looting food for survival?
What are those reporters high on?

Manmade rafts dragging tattered people
Through feces filled waters
as bloated dead bodies floating by.

And this is only what we see on the news.
Imagine that which we cannot see, beyond the camera's view.
These Katrina Evacuees need everything we have to give.
Our money,
Our hope.
Our everything,
because that is the meaning of empathy.

Why aren't the abandoned military bases open yet
to house these unfortunate survivors?
Why aren't our flags being hung at half mast?
Children with no parents,
women with 3 or 5 children not even their own,
just trying to protect their community.

It's pathetic when the federal government
isn't cutting it.
So busy in a foreign war they can't protect their own citizens.
These people are dying of thirst
in the richest country in the world!
I demand to know what the Administration is doing
While these people will die in their attics screaming.

People trapped in their homes
and living atop overpasses.
How can we at how understand their utter desperation?
Everything I feel is real,
Yet I am removed.
I try to help,
But it's not enough.

Why wasn't the National Guard here and ready
to protect and serve the citizens of this country?
Could it be because they've been deployed to Iraq?
Our citizens are dying and though ships are coming back,
It's gonna be too late.

By Mara McWilliams

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These original poems are all copyrighted and may not be used without the explicit permission of the author.


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