‘Twas the night before the storm, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, except for a mouse;
The rain coats were hung by the entry with care,
In dread that a hurricane would soon be there;
The children were sprawled accross their beds;
While visions of video-games played in their heads;
And mamma in her gown, her head on my chest,
Had tried to settle our brains for a short troubled rest,
When out in the street, I did hear glass shatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew with a splash,
And tore open the curtain in time for a flash.
The flash on the crest of an unstoppable flow,
Gave a view a of doomsday for objects below,
When what to my widening eyes did appear,
But a mini cooper with someone’s rain gear,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be my neighbor Nick.
More rapid than eagles, reports of flooding came,
And reporters shouted, and called streets by name:
"Now Dashwood! Now Darkwood! now Parkwood and Dickson!
On Comet! on Intrepid! on Bonner and Jensen!
It’s over the porch! It’s over the wall!
Now climb away! climb away! climb away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When we meet with the water, we climbed for the sky;
So up to the rooftop and safety we flew,
With our hands full of pets, and our neighbor Nicholas too—
And then, in the sprinkling, I heard in our new moat,
The growling and sputtering of a small fishing boat.
As the boat was weaving, and turning around,
The engine was gunned, and I screamed we’ve been found!
A stranger was dressed all in yellow, from his head to his boot,
And his clothes were soaked, from a rip in his rain suite.
A bundle of vests he had flung over his back,
And he looked like a yellow angel in this night’s deepest black.
We all smiled, as he passed the burden he did carry,
Thanking him as we climbed aboard his seemingly magical ferry.
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
But the look in his eyes said now we must go;
The wheel of the boat held tight in his hand,
And the engine, it screamed at his very command;
We all settled in, and let out a great sigh,
And started to laugh as our car floated by.
With a twist and a turn we avoided the trees,
And rescued two more with the greatest of ease;
Safety reached, from his boat we did unload,
A wink of his eye said, no debt was owed.
He spoke not a word, but kept to his work,
And steadied the boat; when waves caused a jerk,
And my thanks I did give to this stranger,
As I tried to warn him to avoid this danger;
He just spun his small boat and, gave it some throttle,
And away he flew like a rocket from a bottle.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove from view—
“We've got work to do!”
(An adaptation of Clement Clarke Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas" to honor huricane victims and volunteers)