Ali Goldsmith’s home on Beach Drive in Merrick was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.
She lives with her husband, mother, three children and bulldog, and the family was forced to relocate due to extreme flooding that rendered the home uninhabitable.
Initially, their friends, Bari and Jory Cener, took the family in, but they have since gone upstate to stay with family. On the drive up, Goldsmith decided to write a poem about her experience during Hurricane Sandy. It’s printed below.
To My Friends Bari & Jory Cener, this is for you.
It smells rotten
The sound of the occasional siren or the vibration of the outside generator.
Limbs are everywhere
People look desperate, hungry- tired.
Homes once were lined with pumpkins and autumn decor now surrounded by garbage.
Lines for fuel
Lines for coffee
Lines for water
Police for crowd control
Traffic lights down
Did you hear
Did you see
Did you read what they wrote
Cell phones charging
A Hot shower at a friends?
Did you stay did you go?
Where to go?
What is left?
The NICU nurses
The Rescue Workers
It could have been worse? Breezy Point, the two little boys? Long Beach, Jersey Shore.
The perfect storm an oxymoron Homes lost people dead towns annihilated
Friends huddled together pooling resources - sharing information.
Children playing for hours on end all together. Sleeping bags and blankets line living rooms. Crayons on kitchen tables. Friends looking out for other friends kids while they clean or make arrangements. Sleepovers. Wine. Candles. Some power. Dinner with lots more people. Lots more kids. Gratitude for those that shared their warm homes. Opened their kitchens and bathrooms and their chargers...
Life's not easy here-devastating.
Hope glimmers thru the eyes of the children as they play with one another passing the time unfazed by missing Halloween unfazed by the lack of gas unfazed by the market and politics.
Hurricane sandy the storm that destroyed so much around us but rekindled the soul with the spirit of friendship and unselfishness - loyalty. Putting things aside and moving forward. Restoring faith in people and their strength and fortitude.
Hurricane Sandy you served no good. You hurt us and you stole our beaches and infrastructure. In some cases our homes and at your worst moments you took our people, children. We will always remember you as cruel storm for as much as you took we survived together. What did you think of the poem? Tell us in the comments below.
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