On the Anniversary of the Sylmar Earthquake

Fifty years

the rumble
the shock
one minute brushing my teeth and
surprise!
I've tumbled into the bathtub

dishes rattling
kitchen clutter
and the sudden knowing this was a 
BIG one,
not particularly so under our feet,
but down the temblor line

It was

buildings toppled
a hospital on the ground
freeway collapse
casualties

mangled mess disorder
asymmetrical landscape
chance
some on the ground; some still standing

Fifty years

rebuilding
reshaping
reimagining
remembering

Today

The neighbors fire up the chain saw
and I shudder.
I shouldn't judge.
Maybe they can't afford to do better.
Maybe there are future plans to
bandage wounds and salve the sore spots.

This tree's stood witness a long time.
She's endured.
Maybe I shouldn't mourn her
disfigurement
But I do.

                                                                                                      February 9, 2021 D. Fetterly