Monday, November 18, 2013

Tornado Poem

Tornado Country.

We lived in the midwest for a long time, the flat country between the Mississippi and the Ohio River. We lived in Charleston and Normal and Peoria, Illinois, and we lived in Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana. We lived through four tornados and I don't know how many more tornado alerts. One time we hadn't finished doing the paper work on the damage one tornado did to our house when a second tornado hit us.

Here's a poem I wrote about a tornado that hit us when we were living in Charleston, Il.

My Daughter is Outside Playing

In the quiet space of the dining room
My wife and I lay out the place settings

The forks beside the Wedgwood plates
The spoons and knives in their places.

A napkin in her hand, she pauses
And tells me again of how her mother

Would starch and iron the squares of cotton
Wash the plates by hand and again by machine.

I smile, nod my head and turn to the window
See the roof next door lift, shingles

Exploding like scattered sparrows, and there
It is—the howl of the locomotive wind

And then a pounding at the glass door
And a screaming that will not stop.

The photo is from the New York Times.

The poem was picked up by New Verse News, a literary journal that focuses on poems about the news. Here's a link to it.  Click here.


John Guzlowski said...

Here's a comment from Dave Bechler:

Having lived in Indiana and Illinois,I know what you are saying and how the emotions,that never quite fade away,led you to write such a poem.

I have seen a few tornadoes at a distance,none really large or overwhelming,and thank the climate god for leaving me alone.

But when it came to snow,He gave it his all.

bruce said...

Hey John... your poem blew me away...