The Spill Detail



Robert McGee

Lingering on the cusp at or near wits’ end—
Dare I even say it — here we go again!
Day and night, praying to awaken
From another nightmare . . .

The question first was posed
On the various TV news shows—
In the midst of a worsening crisis
As millions of gallons were gushing.

Despite being conflicted
By some sense of sound judgment,
I listened as the pundits opined
With the ease of their expertise
On the volatile nature of a man-made beast—
About which little is truly known.

In the midst of a worsening crises,
Undoubtedly, I was appalled (and still am)
By all that I heard and saw;
And any such contemplation of one
Of any number of frightening scenarios
Renders trepidation logical.

But back to that question (most critical)
That managed to make the morning rounds—
The question that reared its unsightly head
(In the midst of catastrophe, mind you)
With cameras rolling and the world tuned in:

“Is this (the Oil Spill) a gamechanger?”

(dry was the city below the sea
before the levees failed;
tall stood the two towers
before the horrors of 9/11;
pristine was a wilderness
prior to the wreck of the Exxon Valdez)

Whenever I think of the aforementioned question,
I am more than vexed by its implication.
But what is most excruciating —
Much more so than what was asked
Is what was not—
The Question that is screaming still:

Why Must We Have A Gamechanger
In Order To Change The Game?

For the past 28 years Robert McGee, a native of Clarksdale, Mississippi, has lived in Mobile, Alabama, where he works in a factory.  He is married with two grown children. Collecting old books and writing poems are his favorite hobbies. He has a burgeoning appetite for history and art.

The Spill

In 2010, when the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill exploded and threatened the way of life that Gulf Coast residents know and love, West Florida Literary Federation offered an outlet for expression. During the six months when the uncapped well gushed, and for one year following the successful capping of the well, writers, poets and photographers from across the country sent us their words, thoughts and feelings, thereby providing a literary record of the Deep Water Horizon environmental disaster. Here are the best of the submissions.

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