Ode to Irma

By on Oct 4, 2017 in Mama Musings |

By Jenni, Carter and Collin McKay


In early September, twenty seventeen,
Something in the Atlantic loomed huge and mean.
Hurricane Irma, a category five,
A catastrophic threat to property and lives.
Over the coming days we predicted and guessed.
Denis Phillips (with suspenders) was truly the best.
Spaghettis and Euros and NHC tracks,
Pretty soon we were all stressed to the max.
Irma, Irma the hurricane,
Did her best to drive us insane.


Panic! Off to Publix we fled,
To buy non-perishables and loaves of bread.
To Mobil! To Shell! To Cosco! To Walmart!
For gas in our tanks and water in our carts.
Evacuation, do we go or stay?!
The track says east coast so we’ll be ok.
But then a shift west on that fateful Euro.
Our stomachs flipped and our eyebrows furrowed.
Then another shift west up Florida’s spine.
Not the best case, but we’ll still be fine.
But then that last track up Florida’s west coast,
The monster storm we all feared the most.
Irma, Irma the hurricane,
Worst-case scenarios on our brains.


Some fled the state, some hunkered down,
Protected our families, our homes, our towns.
Off to Home Depot. To Lowes. To Ace.
The demand for plywood was a frightening race.
Boarding up windows, filling bags with sand,
Each moment hurt our backs, our hearts, our hands.
The highways were parking lots when millions fled the state,
As we inched closer to Sunday, Irma’s chosen date.
Running out of gas and running out of time,
Waiting for Irma to take her northward climb.
Irma, Irma the hurricane,
Barreling through like a bullet train.


We all woke on Sunday, our stomachs in knots.
Our safety, our families, first in our thoughts.
We waited and watched, whether we left or we stayed.
The water had fled from the Gulf and the Bay.
Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key,
Then Venice was somewhere you didn’t want to be.
But then Irma weakened and kept heading north,
Unlike the models that had gone back and forth.
She slowed to a two and then to a one,
We all cheered and rejoiced but she wasn’t quite done.
After dark Irma came with a howl and a roar.
Winds battered the trees and the windows and doors.
Right up through the state Irma spun with a burst.
It appears that Polk County got it the worst.
We watched good ‘ole Denis ’til our power went kaput,
Then slept way sounder than we ever thought we would.
Irma, Irma the hurricane,
A ton of wind and a ton of rain.


We woke the next morning, hoping for the best.
Opening our doors was truly the test.
Downed branches, downed trees, downed power lines.
But really those things were just minor fines.
We were lucky, SO lucky that Irma stayed east,
Our homes safely tucked to the west of that beast.
And even the surge stayed lower than low,
Sparing homes, sparing lives, meaning more than you know.
A storm of inconvenience, the power was out.
It affected 5.8 million, the biggest outage without a doubt.
We took down our shutters and cleaned up our yards.
The lack of air conditioning was especially hard.
But community spirit was high,
With neighbors helping neighbors.
Sharing information and tears and labors.
Irma, Irma the hurricane,
Our power was lost but there’s so much we gained.


Grilling thawed meat and searching for ice,
Life like Little House on the Prairie, but it’s actually quite nice.
The kids are out of school for 11 days total.
Perhaps we’ll learn something new…maybe how to yodel??
No computers, no work, no Netflix, no school.
We spend time with our families and swim in leafy pools.
It was better than the best-case scenario,
We dodged a massive bullet, that we all know.
We emerge from the storm, more grateful than before,
And being there for each other more and more.
So good riddance Queen Irma the hurricane,
We bid you adieu as you circle the drain.