537 Readings

Such shapes of rain like patterns of dream static and then a fogged lens

Before slamming shut the cold case door, the children rushing in, the men crowding on top of each other, the shatter inward of glass, the residual chill from the walls, the floor, the bottles, a woman intoning Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus,

before the wind dragging outward unfolding the splintered sheets of pane glass, mylar bags, bits of paper, empty gasoline jugs,

before the frames of shelves twisting into coils, before the bulk of a truck flung upward on two hind wheels,

somewhere out beyond the lot, the clouded whorl of rain, some figure moving in the gray field.

Crush of hands and arms Jesus the door not shutting for the broad bulk of wind Jesus and in the last glimpse is it a man or some other thing.

Months or years before you had seen there slim trees standing in a spring frost, the frozen mist hanging in the slender trunks of trees and the seeming upward movement of gold white light,

your daughter playing there.

Now, flattening, holding out in the field, some pillar or some crumpled figure in the mindforms of clouds.
Posted 01/14/14
From "Joplin Tornado: May 2011." First published in jubilat 24 (Winter 2013).
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