Dear Editor,

(With apologies to Simon & Garfunkel)

Hello darkness, my old friend

Yes, the power’s out again

Because the UPS’ beeping

Woke me when I had been sleeping

And the vision that was planted in my brain

Still remains

Beeps break the sound of silence.

Now in darkness all alone

I guess the Harley Plant has blown

WAPA has no current flowing

So my lightbulbs aren’t glowing

Then my eyes are stabbed

by the flash of my lantern light

Shining bright that touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw

Ten thousand customers or more

People texting “are you out too?”

People texting “so what else is new?”

And the voltage like silent raindrops fell

And echoed in the wells of silence.

Now of course we surely know

How a small outage can grow

First you lose gen’rating capacity

Then overload remaining capacity

So you’ll rotate through the feeders one by one

’Til you’re done

Is that the sound of silence?

And the people they install

Solar panels one and all

Batteries or generators

Hand pumps or regulators

So the waters we’d like to flush down the drain

Don’t remain

There’s just the sound of humming.

Sara Smollett, St. Thomas