Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

One of the unfortunate facts of living on the great plains is that we live in Tornado Alley… where the largest number of tornados form in the world. If you have been following the news, I am sure you have heard of the tornados in Oklahoma City this year…

Growing up and living in the Great Plains, you grow used to tornados being a part of your life. In the spring and early summer, you learn to remain vigilant to the weather.

A few times a year, there are tornado outbreaks in my area; which produces tense moments…

This poem is about those tense moments.

As Distant Thunder Rolls

We sit and wait in silence
As distant thunder rolls.
The weatherman on our TV
Interrupts the show.
He points to red spots on his map
Not very far away.
No one says a single thing;
We hang on every word.

We sit and wait in silence
As he talks of tornados.
The rain outside begins to fall
And patters on the ground.
Humid air blows in the house
From a restless night.
The neighbor’s wind chime sings outside;
Rings out a haunting hymn.

We sit and wait in silence
And think of our close calls.
The time with mom on Highway 10
We raced a twister home;
The night a cyclone jumped my town;
Cleaning branches from the street;
Or how in Moore the EF-5
Just missed my sister’s home.

We sit and wait in silence
Like so many nights;
The thunder rolls and hail falls down;
Wind howls in the night.
The warnings and the weather
Do their best to scare.
Not with bang but with a whimper
Storms fade into the night.

We sit and wait in silence;
Lighting flickers bright outside.
“Tornado warning ‘til 10 o’clock
Get underground right now!”
The weatherman points to a town
Below us on the map.
The thunder heard not far away
Threatens all their lives.

We sit and wait and wonder
Will we be next this time?
Run down the stairs in shaking fear
To cower for our lives.
Splitting wood and cracking glass
As home falls in on us.
Pray and scream with all our might
Storm spares us all inside.

We sit and wait in silence
As distant thunder rolls…

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Falling snow can’t reach me here
Locked behind double pains of glass.
Slowly floating by my window;
Slowly falling down to earth.
Like millions of falling stars they fly
Then one by one they all die.
Never to be remembered;
Never to be important.
Lost on the ground in a wasteland of it’s peers.

-Fall 2003; Lincoln, Nebraska


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