I haven't the foggiest idea of what I was watching on the TV that July evening ... just sitting there, vegetating in front of the tube, when ... suddenly ... I was alone with my thoughts ... in total darkness.
What a jolt that was.
I thought at first a fuse had blown (yes, we had fuses then) ... but I fumbled down the stairs, looked up and down the street ... and arrived at a slightly different verdict: We had a bigger problem.
At least I got a poem out of it.
This poem came to mind when I got home after an enjoyable evening of listening to an author describe her adventures with first, second and third novels ...
I opened an e-mail from a friend and fellow-writer in Kansas ... who was expecting to lose power at any moment.
"Over 30,000 already without lights here in this area," she said. "I doubt that I will be online much longer. Don't worry ... we'll be fine ... just have to ride it out!"
Her rather frightening situation brought to mind "Let There Be Light," though there is little similarity between her situation and the relatively minor inconvenience that I was experiencing on that steamy summer night.
When I looked up my poem, I noticed that the original version had ended: "powerless again/ in the hands/ of the trusted/ utility company."
Given the benefit of the perspective provided by time, I think I may have been taking an unfair swipe at the utility company then. What do you think ... original ending ... or a modified version?
Of course, the question is relatively moot, once the poem has been "abandoned" to a publisher ... but I was just wondering ...
LET THERE BE LIGHT
In the hottest part
in the darkest part
our reverie is torn asunder
as the picture we are watching
is swallowed by the tube,
by a wheeze
that dies with a sigh deep
inside the air-conditioner,
and here we sit,
in the hands
of the trusted
(originally published in Parnassus Literary Journal)
Today's word: powerless