The Waterwood Box, 9

Catch up!

Adam and Carlos, slowed because of the box, came up last. Some of the boys kicked up water that got into Adam’s mouth. “Yuck. It’s salt water,” he said to Carlos. Carlos was crying too hard to respond.

By the time they reached where the roof had once been, only the television antenna remained above water. The party clung to the antenna and to each other. There was hardly any room left to hang on, so Adam and Carlos floated with the box between them. Adam looked around at what used to be his neighborhood. He could see other antennas jutting above the water line here and there. Some ways off to the east, he could see One World, Inc.’s large office building. He saw bits of debris: a plastic rake, a soccer ball, floating around them. What he didn’t see were any other people. Adam guessed that about ten minutes had passed since he’d opened the box. Ten minutes for the world to become unrecognizable.

—-

The water rose to the top of the television antenna. Most of the boys were crying now. Mr. Might let go of the antenna and treaded water to free some space for the others. “I’m going to go look for something else that we can use to float on. Adam’s box won’t hold us all.” And with that, Mr. Might swam away. Everyone else had to let go of the antenna. The water was just too high. Juan and Seth swam to Adam and grabbed on to the box. The box sunk a little lower in the water.

The Waterwood Box, 9

February 1st, 2017

what is strength?

                    more precisely,
                                                  what is power?

from
the perspective
of
the outsider,

weak leaders
act like
strong leaders,

and

                    strong leaders
                    act
                    indifferent

weak leaders
portray
them-
     selves as stronger
     
in order
          to get
                    their way
          
they gamble
they escalate

what is strength?

                    more precisely,
                                                  what is power?

democrats
&
dictators

the strong ruler
does not issue
any command at all
                         because
her will
is implemented already

that is strength.

                    more precisely,
                                                  it is power.

we cannot infer
whether power
is being exerted effectively,
based on outcomes alone

that is strength.

                    more precisely,
                                                  it is power.

a sign of strength
a sign of weakness
the same
observable
implication

a sign of strength
signs of weakness
radically
different
interpretations

understand what is mi[   ]ing

poem found here:      https://tompepinsky.com/2017/01/30/weak-and-incompetent-leaders-act-like-strong-leaders/

February 1st, 2017

The Waterwood Box, 8

Catch up!

Mrs. Might tried to stay calm. “You didn’t do anything, baby.  It’ll be all right.” She turned to the other boys, who by now had moved to sit on top of the picnic table. “Let’s get in the house.” The boys looked at the yard around them. The water lapped at Adam’s knees. Carlos began to weep.

Adam snatched the wooden box from the table and waded back to the gift table for the lid. He grabbed the box lid just as the water reached the tabletop. He slid the lid into place and the box snapped shut. Adam held the box close to his chest as he swam to the picnic table. Plastic forks and plates floated around everyone’s ankles as all ten of them  stood crammed on the table top. Adam put his feet down and stood with the rest of them, on top of the table, overlooking a submerged backyard.

Over the next few moments, the rising water covered the first story of the Might’s house. The fences that partitioned out Adam’s neighborhood were now all underwater. From the window in Adam’s bedroom a voice rang out. “What is going on?” Monkey yelled. “I flushed the toilet and flooded the house!” Then Monkey noticed that the everyone was standing in chest-deep water where the picnic table used to be. Monkey screamed.

Carlos was crying unstoppably now. “I can’t swim, man.  I can’t swim,” he kept saying over and over.

“Here, hang on to the box with me,” Adam offered.

“Anyone who can swim, let’s swim to the roof,” suggested Mr. Might. He yelled to Monkey, “If you can swim, Mike, jump out of the window. As fast as the water’s rising we’ll be able to get on the roof in just a minute.” No one dared to ask how long it would take the water to cover the roof. Monkey jumped into the water. Mr. Might turned back to the boys. “Carlos, grab on to the box and you and Adam paddle over to the house.” Mr. Might gave a desperate look to his wife and started to swim. Mrs. Might and the boys followed.

The Waterwood Box, 8