Nothing to Keep

How I am enjoying my creative writing class with Kelly DuMar! In each class we are given a theme, last month was doors. This was interesting since I had recently published a blog post titled Open Doors. I chose a photo I took in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi of the Merchant’s Bank vault, or what was left of it after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the bank. Even after two years, the damage appeared fresh and the community was still recovering.

I wrote this piece from the perspective of the safe. While I don’t recall ever seeing the bank and did not experience the terror and destruction of the storm, I used my mother’s recollection of trips to the bank with her father and the stories family members shared of the night the storm hit the bay to pull together what the safe might have experienced. I used my imagination to fill in the gaps.

I hope you enjoy it.

Nothing to Keep

I stood solid and robust, holding money, important documents, heirlooms, and jewels.
I kept them secure, locked behind my massive door.
It was my job to keep everything safe, as my name implies.

Each day, I could hear the buzz of business inside the bank, people coming and going. The man in a suit and shiny shoes used a secret code to enter and deposit treasures from the community.

Each night, the bank was peaceful and quiet. People slept soundly in their homes, knowing I was guarding their life’s savings.

Then mother nature blew a swirling circular storm, pushing wind and waves. A driving force the walls could not endure. Darkness, howling winds, breaking glass, crumbling walls, rising water, nothing was safe.

Katrina, that ruthless thief, stole all I kept safe and took it with her into the sea.

Years later, I’m still here, now a dilapidated relic. My massive door, covered in brown rust, is easily opened, not by a businessman in a suit and shiny shoes but by curious tourists wearing shorts and sandals.

“Nothing to see here!” I want to tell them.

I have no money, no heirlooms, or jewels; it’s just me alone in the sand with nothing to keep.

Photo from the The Historian of Hancock County / www.hancockcountyhistoricalsociety.com

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Until next time, be well.

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