Issue 112, Winter 1989
more than several blocks long—to displace
its weight and float like a tanker over us.
It is because my husband is from the midwest
that he dreams of twisters. Every Spring
in his head he is running to beat the wind.
Sometimes, a child again
he is at the diningroom table over-seeing
an arrangement of baseball cards and
interrupting that satisfied moment, a sudden darkness,
false night. It is as if the moon slid its face
in front of the sun and beyond the window—leaves,
limbs, garbage can lids fly by—horizontal, gravity
seeming to nap.
He hears his dead father’s cough from the front room,
his father’s slippers hit the floor and rush for the screen door.
A garage three-doors-down is lifted,
picked up and turned ninety degrees and placed
back down on its own foundation.
This is Power—indiscriminate, unexpected — slicing
the afternoon in half.
Other nights, he finds himself an adult,
memory so accurate that it is surreal,
his first wife’s walk, his mother’s blouse,
his nephew’s first dirty word.
He is always racing against the odds—trying to
run fast through knee deep water,
hide in a cellar,
close a blown window,
latch a gate,
the funnel-cloud eating a path toward him.