Maria – by Elizabeth Spencer Spragins

houses ripped from roots
rest their wreckage on high hills
when the coquí sings
and broken palms reach for rain
hope falls lightly in my hand

Note: Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. One month later, approximately 80% of the island remained without power.
A coquí is a frog native to Puerto Rico. The cheerful call of the male is a distinctive feature of evenings on the island.

Elizabeth Spencer Spragins is a poet, writer, and editor who taught in community colleges for more than a decade. Her tanka and bardic verse in the Celtic style have been published in England, Scotland, Canada, Indonesia, and the United States. Recent work has appeared in the Lyric, Glass: Facets of Poetry, Halcyon Days, Page & Spine, and Peacock Journal. Publication updates are available on her website:

Photographer’s Note: This photo represents the sound of the singing frog giving hope in the midst of destruction.