They raked debris from storm drains just in time
to see the water rise and climb the steps
onto porches, into living rooms,
soaking everything they’d ever had.
In acts of suicide, the children’s trikes
gave up their handlebars’ bright plastic streamers,
spread them out like Ophelia’s hair
as wind and current blew the reeds between them.
I thought of Moses when I saw the doll
bob up among the prickly carex spears,
like a baby coming up for air.
And when the flood was higher than before,
an angry child I’d rescued from a stoop
threw it overboard the boat and spat
and aiming at it threw her sodden boot,
shedding tears of grown-up desolation.


Casey FitzSimons

About Casey FitzSimons

Casey FitzSimons is host of a reading series in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her poems have appeared in print and online in Red Wheelbarrow, Midwest Quarterly, Sand Hill Review, Newport Review, Hobo Camp Review, EarthSpeak, The Prose-Poem Project, flashquake, Leveler, Astropoetica, pacificREVIEW, and others. She has been a finalist in the River Styx and Writecorner Press poetry competitions and was honored this year in the Rita Dove Awards at Salem College, the Maggi H. Meyer 33 contest sponsored by Bay Area Poets Coalition, and the Ina Coolbrith Circle’s annual competition. Her chapbooks include The Breeze Was Mine: Poems in Form (2013), Riding Witness (2012), and No Longer Any Need (2011). FitzSimons taught art in San Francisco for many years. Her reviews of local exhibitions frequently appeared in Artweek, and her studio drawing book, Serious Drawing, was published by Prentice Hall. She has a master’s degree in Fine Arts from San Jose State University.
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