On Being a Hurricane







When I was young

For a brief period of time

I wanted to be a girl

Because when I was young

I wanted to be a hurricane and only girls got to be hurricanes.

Flailing and wailing and making a big fuss.


They were like big black women

Flying over from Africa on maritime broom sticks

Getting revenge on the South for slavery


And most of all

I remember

Hurricane Betsy

Which bombed the South in 1965


To me she was Hurricane Betty Davis

Screaming and beating the confederacy for opposing the

Voting Rights Act, for voting for Goldwater


Hurricanes were nice and round

like a big bad women’s sumptuous behind.

Shaking her stuff in a mini skirt and doing the twist


Hurricanes cried the rain of four hundred years

Whipped the wind like a thousand masters’ lashes

Had all the strength of a woman in childbirth and a man on Iwo  Jima

I wanted to be a Hurricane


Copyright, David Gottfried, 1996


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