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Rated: 13+ · Poetry · Other · #1855351
Tornadoes:Dexter, Mi 3/15/12. We're fine; weren't touched, but written from experience.
After the Tornado

After the noise--
incredible 'trains running wild' mixed with
'grade B movie monster demolishes NYC'
added to 'garbage truck compacting a street's worth of trash'--
the silence

Basement stairwell,
an inside-out maze no artist ever drew
stapled by rogue two by fours.
Break free to stand in the open-air kitchen--
only sign our kitchen was ever there being a lone
ladybug magnet lying on the plywood
that was underneath the linoleum.
We've yet to find the fridge.

Seventy-five foot pines are
but toothpicks scattered on the lawn.
His truck sits upright, nary a scratch.
My car sports a fractured windshield--
slip of paper beneath wiper--
the traffic here is fine.

A photo, recently found after twenty years,
sits in its frame on the coffee table. The
rest of the living room is across the street.
Fragile ornament still hangs on hallway shelf
unbroken, but
the shelf is in what's left of a neighbor's treehouse.
My wedding ring, left by bathroom sink,
was still there on counter swept clean of all else.

Siren blared more than a half hour
before we were hit. Were thinking we were safe--
never leave the basement until you hear the all clear!
No one was hurt or killed. Neighborhood pets
accounted for. The birds are still flocking
to their feeder hanging in the yard.

They opened a disaster refuge at the high school.
It closed, unused, at eight pm: everyone went to friends or family.
Our neighborhood is one big family.
Good thing as a someone's fuchsia bra hangs on a hook
in our bathroom, my stuffed dragon is three doors down
and mounted deer-heads from three households
were all found together at a fourth.

Some houses were obliterated,
others had top floors blown away
but the insurance agents are here en mass:
we will all rebuild. We joke about
mobile homes that will house us temporarily.
We were hit without one in sight.

Small towns are really
just extended families whether
you know the folks or not.
We will collect our belongings. No
one is crying. Seems like we've found
most of the 'important' things
and we are all here.

Across the way
a neighbor offers us all a drink:
only corner of his living room intact
holds his bar glasses and completely stocked bar.
We toast each other while we watch
the local news show overhead shots of our neighborhood.

The world sees
a subdivision demolished.
We look at the pictures and think
it could have been much worse.
We survived. We will
rebuild the houses; our homes
are still here.

Not even a tornado can rip the love out.
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