Xenia, Ohio (Tornado, Apr.4,1974)

Heard it on the news, several hours distance
The tornado touched down.

Blew away the pond in the park.
The ducks were gone.

Threw a bus on the school.
Kids screaming inside.

The neighborhood leveled
Like the swing of a scythe.

Nothing was what it was.
Everything was rubble.

My childhood too was
Blown away.

The places I knew were
No more.

No where to go back to…
The path that led from there to here.

Time has a way, twistered minutes wrapped
Around a telephone pole…

The line is cut, with no way or why or how
To call home or even

Get help.


Note: Xenia, Ohio, a small town near Dayton and the boyhood home of the poet, made national headlines when it was devastated by a tornado on April 4,1974.

(Previously published in Three Smiles, Dec.2000)

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