Susan Farrelly is one of the writers I am privileged to work with at the Cohoes Public Library. Our Valentine's gift to the world is this poem about her late husband. Susan is a retired high school teacher who taught English for thirty-four years. It is her goal to write her teaching memoirs as a tool to assist new teachers. Being of Irish descent, Susan strongly believes that the dead are always by our side. She believes that her dead husband does communicate with her through the forces of nature. This poem, given as a class assignment to write in the voice of another person, is based on an actual occurrence.
I Was the Wind
by Susan Farrelly
I’m no longer physically with you,
But I’m never far away.
Since I have been gone,
You have never faced a crisis in which I did not intervene—
Like the night of the big fire on 90th Street— Paddy’s street.
It was an extremely windy April night,
And that night I was the wind.
I had to save Paddy’s apartment.
Remember— the apartment building next door was on fire.
The wind was raging and the fire was spreading.
The firemen told Paddy and little Meg
Their building would be the next one to go.
They were so scared, just standing there watching
And waiting for their building to burst into flames.
I just couldn’t let my boy and his fiancée become homeless.
All of their possessions were in that apartment.
You always told me I was full of hot air.
So that night, I inhaled with all my might,
And blew as hard as I could.
For one fleeting moment, I was the wind
And I shifted the direction of that fire.
The firemen were dumbfounded;
They watched as the wind shifted
And the building on the other side caught fire.
I was the one who did it; I saved my Paddy’s apartment.
When Paddy and little Meg returned to their apartment,
There wasn’t even smoke damage.
They could look out their side window
And see the collapsed roof of the building next door.
So you see, I am up here watching over you and my babies,
Even more dedicated than when I was with you on earth.