Gerald Tuckman of Otis related to The Edge how this week's Nor'easter left Otis buried in about 30 inches of snow. Photo by Gerald Tuckman.

POEM: Vulnerability

Poetry and photography submissions recount how a Nor'easter that buried much of Berkshire County and the surrounding area this week reminded us of our vulnerability and interdependency.

So dependent on electricity
to fuel our lives
in carefree fashion,
when the snow deepens
and wind blows,
felling tree limbs onto tender wires,
we sit in darkness—
candles gleaming
flashlights directing
wood stove firing heat into dark rooms.

We wait.
Hours, days, while the stretched to the limit technicians
climb, cut, splice to reboot our lives.
They labor in the cold and dark
snow beating on yellow parkas
while hanging precariously from tall poles.

This is repeated again and again each season,
each year, since the wires that support our living
remain exposed to tree limb, wind gust, veering automobile
severing electricity’s needed flow.

We can’t cook, flush, compute, heat or televise.
Yet, the candlelight and stove fire
are a comfort during the uncertain hours in darkness.

When Gerald Tuckman’s regular snowplow was unable to make it up their driveway, a friendly neighbor came to the rescue with his tractor. Photo by Gerald Tuchman.