Saturday, April 13, 2013


I could say nothing happens here.
Snow melts, ice forms.
Tornados seldom follow`
though cold descend, heat rise
whirring toward funnel shape.
I saw one in Wellington, Kansas,
far off. Sunflowers kneeled
to touch the earth
I walked, a child.
Next door the widow Yehle
calmed my mother’s fears.
My father heard nothing
in the Boeing plant in Wichita
those years the war was on.

Weathermen say a tornado
blew through last summer.
A branch thick as a tree
fell between houses, ours
and the neighbor’s,
whose tree it was.
Huddling with our cats
in the basement,
my love saying Hail Marys,
when I heard the crack
I said, There goes the roof.
I’ve lived here so long
I sound like someone
who never leaves the house.

Nothing like that happens here,
friends say who’ve never left.
Trees uprooted down the streets,
they try to set us straight:
That was no tornado,
just wind, nothing touched down.
Snow is forecast for May Day.
A neighbor said he saw it snow
on the Fourth of July:
You could keep going north.
Forget it, Jack, 
We’re not in Kansas anymore.
Nor are we in the city
wishing we were here.

(6 April 2013)

copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander

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