Tag Archives: Poems

Waiting for a Tornado

I’m staring at the basement ceiling, waiting for the wind

to twist off my house like a frayed sun hat,

She gasps and chases it across a French cobblestone bridge,

holding her skirt down, giggling.

 

Or, I’m squatting down to umpire the preschool tee-ball game

as a twister toddles, off balance and mouth breathing,

toward my whiffleball house, dragging the bat

and smearing the chalk line behind him.

 

Maybe I’m sitting under the table as the novice magician

pulls the tablecloth too slow, sending my fake fine china house

bouncing off the convention carpet square lawns.

The neighbors, embarrassed for me, order another scotch.

 

I could be sitting in the basement bathroom when she walks

right in, wanting to redecorate everything, and I remember

all my friends saying, “don’t move in with Kansas,”

and I wonder why she can’t understand the word “occupied!

 

Or, I’m hiding in the wine cellar of the Ottoman Empire,

bracing for invasion, hoping I’m dressed appropriately

for when I’m found impaled on a spike, my collapse

the only event worthy of a history book.

 

Or, I’m the dandelion seed stuck between the toes

of the panic-frozen marmot, as the Winnebago wobbles

through Yellowstone, leaving behind it a path of diesel smoke,

skid marks, and splattered marmots,

 

and all the unwritten stories and other sins of sloth,

gluttony and greed that have accumulated in my closets

seemed nicely tucked away when the rain started,

but started spilling out when the wind picked up,

 

and in the darkness I could only think about my punishment

massing in the clouds above me, but due to influences

too many and too subtle to hear in the static of my dying radio,

there was too much else before me to destroy,

 

and the storm spun out too soon, and the parting sky revealed

nothing more to me than that I am, for now, forgiven.

 

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