TOUGHLOVE


TOUGH LOVE
 



 
 
So dry, it seemed like nothing green
Would show at all that year,
The clay-like earth had cracked, in fact,
And even weeds had disappeared.
 
Brooks and creeks had but dried up,
Rivers, at their lowest ebb,
Frogs and toads had gone elsewhere,
And fewer birds flew overhead.
 
Men mopped their brows, and ladies fanned,
And babies fretted through the night,
Too hot, too dry, no moving air,
No relief, it seemed, in sight.
 
Water then was rationed-out,
Distributed in equal shares,
Humans, animals, and plants
Received what was determined fair.
 
Not too little, not too much,
No one got enough to squander,
But in situations such as this,
Selfish people plan and ponder.
 
"More for me - for me and mine,
And the devil take the rest!"
Man sometimes is so unkind,
And so greedy in his quests.
 
Neighbors argued - so did friends,
And thievery was rampant,
Family members had disputes.
And indeed became combatants.
 
One night a man was shot
Over just a drink of water,
And on that night, the pressure dropped
In the weatherman's barometer.
 
The next morning when folks awoke,
A rumbling from the distance came,
And even though the skies were bright,
The air held the smell of rain.
 
Ever so slowly dark clouds appeared,
And big thunderheads rolled in,
The night's stillness became a breeze,
And soon that breeze became a wind.
 
The skies turned black, and lightening cracked,
The atmosphere cried STORM!
Trees raised their branches to receive,
Fresh rain that was cloud-born.
 
With no encouragement at all,
The heavens just let loose,
The sky was truly falling,
Not pretend, like Mother Goose.
 
The rain came down in torrents,
Like mountain waterfalls,
Like broken water spigots,
One could not shut off at all.
 
At first thirsty, happy people
Expressed their gratitude,
But when the rain kept pouring down,
They changed their attitude.
 
All that day and through the night,
And through the next day, too,
The rain continued on and on,
No one knowing what to do.
 
For the next two weeks, it did not cease,
Streets flooded - schools were closed,
Transformers blew and power stopped,
Folks stayed inside - were indisposed.
 
Water reservoirs filled swiftly,
The ground absorbed all it could hold,
The excess emptied into rivers,
And shortly levees overflowed.
 
The water seeped through doorways,
Into people's living rooms.
Rising higher - ever higher,
Bringing fear of watery tombs.
 
Forced to second story levels,
Folks clung tightly to their roofs,
Houses floated down the river,
Undermined and broken loose.
 
Mothers hugged their babies snugly,
And boys held fast their dogs,
A world gone mad in wild waters,
People begging help from God.
 
Then folks in boats, with tows and ropes,
Began to help each other,
Something about impending death,
Made them aware of one another.
 
If one man kept a second man
From sinking 'neath the waves,
And the second man helped a third man,
Then perhaps a fourth was saved.
 
And so it went.  Nobody drowned,
And many hands were clasped,
Old friends united - new ones found,
Then the rain slowed down at last.
 
Next, as if by miracle,
On the fifteenth day, it stopped,
The good Lord, with Lordly wisdom,
Had turned the water off.
 
Man and land were both restored,
And spirits were renewed,
God could not stand man's way with man,
So He had to teach him what to do.
 
Scant or plenty - flood or drought,
Man must help his fellowman,
And there is no good excuse
For "man's inhumanity to man."
 
"Tough love," today they'd call it,
But what choice did God have?
There was need to show His children,
What happens when they're bad.
 
When they began to help each other
And  to properly behave,
 Was when God showed that He still loved them,
And by His grace, He then forgave.
 
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright 2002 ~ Revise 2006
 


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