The Bounce

by Nonnie Augustine


Two cancer scares since June, one

came up nothing the other nothing much.

(My breasts are dense: I know all about moles—

little bastards don't have to get sun to go nuts.)


My manuscript travels ether to beg, compete, get read?

Kind, crisp, exuberant notes let me know me why not.


Dubious choices abound. A scumbag persuades,

stupefies, berates, glitters, (his son had a gold baby

carriage, for Christ's sake) threatens, overheats.



Hurricane Hermine's landfall hit just east of Panama City.

She bore down on Carrabelle, St. Mark's, Apalachicola, 

Tallahassee, then on north and up the coast,

where it lingered for days, shattering nerves.


We (brother, dog, house cats and beloved strays, live oaks,

magnolias, roses) spent the night without even a bleep

in electricity, even a clap of thunder, while the Gulf of Mexico

pounded tiny Cedar Key's brave stretch of main street, 

tore up Big Bend fishing piers, flooded old cemeteries.


I'd been ready: sturdy candlesticks, working flashlights,

the manual can opener, bright yellow portable

emergency weather radio lined up on the dining room

table, a giant pot of penne edible hot or cold

waiting on the stove, The Weather Channel crowd

informing me of the latest developments.

Could be I overdid the urgency: played up the threat

of high winds, heavy rains, storm surge.  Hot-sauced

my alarm, wanted it to blow away the enervating effects

of too much cable news and bemused time spent peering

at the damn spot with a magnifying mirror; of the dead—

ending emails from small presses coming after seasons

replete with the rush of composition and the particular, 

peculiar vitality of living poem to poem.