Tidal Wave – fantasy poem

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Tidal Wave – fantasy poem

Tidal Wave is a chilling fantasy poem and story of a man caught in the torrent of a brutal tidal wave,  who somehow escapes it. It is a second-by-second description of his survival, and rescue.

Tidal Wave – fantasy poem
copyright 2015 by jon gutmacher

Tidal wave
100 miles per hour
forcing the tide to surge
far beyond its limits
as it pushes all before it
in a torrent of disaster

Tidal wave . . .
the warning comes screaming by sirens
one after another
blending until all other sounds freeze in the air

Tidal wave . . .
people near the shoreline look up
stunned to silence
as each realizes that
the following minutes and seconds
could be their last

Tidal Wave . . .
Sea rising . . .
“There!” — people point to
a distant heave in the sea
some begin to run
some are frozen
many know not what to do

But, far in the distance
I can hear it – the roar of the water
and I begin to run
running as fast as my feet will carry me
running up to where higher ground may protect me
hoping my family
heard the sirens as well
and will meet there
together in safety

So many people, now
all running in the same direction
running from the incoming sea
the sea that only minutes ago we all loved
now a dreaded enemy

All around me
dogs, cats, people, children
all filled with a dread
of not knowing
if they will make it
or be swept away
into the churn of eternity

And then I hear the roar
the crashing
I know it is right behind me
But I do not stop
I do not look back
I do not cease my running
although I think my heart will burst if I don’t
for I know it is almost upon me

I grab a child
fallen and crying
yanking her by the arm
and then cradling her like a football
as I run the final yards to possible salvation
a small hill
while hearing the screams behind me

And then the water hits
a crushing blow of tons of water
the child torn from my arms
so much like a screaming doll
thrown down into the current
the debris
the rushing torrent
that seems never ending
as I desperately try to raise my head
above the swirling, churning blackness
that tries to envelope me

Swept past the hill
I see a tree
one tree
one desperate lonely tree
somehow stands against it
and with all my strength I reach for it
feeling my bones smash
as the water pushes me in and under

I force myself up against the torrent
Refusing to surrender to the pain
my arms screaming
as otherwise to be swept away
into utter oblivion

But, I will not let that be
I fight
I survive
and I come up
right leg broken
but still I hold on
the water rushing past me
unseen things, legs, arms, bodies,
crashing into me

And then the surge suddenly passes
the waters still around me
the screams of those who’ve somehow survived
the passing of dead bodies
Oh, God
How can this be possible?
How can You allow it?

Then, as I cling to the tree
afraid to let go
fingers locked as if in a death grip
I see two brave men from the nearby hill
hurry into the water
rushing towards me
then dragging me high to safety

Placed on the hill
the water still moving beneath us
I lay there . . .
lifeless in the dirt other than grateful breathing
then crying unbelievingly
that somehow
I am still alive
and hoping that at least some of my family
have survived

Suddenly, I hear a familiar whimper
the lick of a warm, soft tongue
against one bloodied ear
and recognize my loyal basset hound
somehow survived and unharmed

And then the sound that to this day
I will ever, ever remember
“Daddy!” “Daddy!”
And into my arms rushed my daughter
who hugged me so tight
I could not believe her strength
And I actually laughed holding her
even though I later found I had also broken
two ribs, besides my leg

And now
it’s been many years since that tragic day
we’ve moved from that place and spot
far, far away
a place where tidal waves can no longer reach
and the sea breeze no longer blows

Not all of us made it
my little dog has long since
passed away
my wife was not as lucky as I
but my daughter visits me often
and brings with her
her daughter
and we remember when once
we were a whole family
before the Tidal Wave
took so much away

The background image is a fantasy image of a tidal wave hitting the beach, and is from an Asian tsunami movie, whereas the featured image is an actual Tsunami hitting the beach in Japan.  It wiped out the entire village, killing hundreds.

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