Don’t Name Your Child Katrina
by Pat Laster
‘Twas way back in the summer now
a great long time ago, my dears,
before you were alive,
that Mother Nature’s children,
tired of living in the blue,
decided they’d been good enough
to plot some derring-do.
On June eleventh, Miss Arlene
blew up at sixty per;
her wind gave out & she gave up––
the effort now a blur.
Young Bret decided he could surely
best his sister’s deed,
but he veered off to Mexico
with hardly any speed.
On July fifth, Miss Cindy tried;
her winds were stronger yet.
The only consolation was
she beat her brother, Bret.
Now Dennis flexed & huffed & puffed
––the stars were in a line.
His wind speed hit ol’ Cuba
But Dennis––Mr. Hurricane––
had lots of fury left.
He whomped Navarre in Florida
& fled––the coast bereft.
Not willing to be jeered at, Yanh,
yanh, Emily’s a bore!
in one week’s time, she grew into
a Category Four.
Both Gert & Harvey petered out,
but Irene acted tough.
She earned the title, Hurricane;
could not prolong her puff.
Old Mother Nature watched her brood
with all maternal pride,
but wasn’t quite prepared to witness
wild Katrina’s ride.
Katrina’d waited, studied, too,
Camille (her cousin)'s fame––
the deadliest, most intensive storm,
the history books proclaim.
For days, Katrina researched, trained,
determined to be best––
or worst––depending on who judged.
She wondered if the test
was surge, or wind or millibars,
or slope of coastline. Soon,
she left her mother’s lair & slammed
into a Gulf Coast dune.
She changed her course & spread her arms
& whirled with all her might;
demolished Gulfport, New Orleans––
her wake a tragic blight.
Don’t name a child Katrina, dears,
whatever else you do.
Who knows, her daughter may return
to ruin me and you.
Written for a 2005 NPD contest, “A current event since 2000” in ballad form, sponsored by Barbara Longstreth Mulkey. It won first place, but hasn’t been published since. On this 10th anniversary, I offer it up to the blogosphere.
c 2015 - PL