Monday, November 06, 2006

Twenty Minutes at the Office

Black clouds circled, low and swift,
and made us think about tornados.
I wondered if we'd recognize
the sound of one in time,
and he said, "If we're hit,
where would you go?"

We watched the skies and saw
in other doors and windows
neighbors' worried faces
peering out to do the same.
"Don't go now," one shouted, "Save
your errands for tomorrow."

Hard rain came from all directions.
We watched it roll in waves
across the parking lots, in sheets
across the canning factory's tin roof.
Cars and trucks passed slowly,
raising giant rooster tails.

Wind pushed through the narrow crack
around our glass front door,
blew it open far enough
to ring the bell, then sucked it back
and slammed it shut
like a bad-tempered child.

Thunderstorms are common
on Louisiana afternoons,
but this one wasn't ordinary.
Threatening, menacing,
it warned us, "Call your children,
say 'I love you' one more time."


  1. Wow did that happen today? Your description gave me goose bumps and made me glad we don't get tornados here. Carmon

  2. Yeah, Carmon, about 1:30 this afternoon. We get tornado watches and warnings all the time but, fortunately, few touch down. I've never seen one and will be just fine if I never do. This was scary enough.

  3. That sounds like an afternoon filled with trepidation and probably some excitement. At least I would have felt excited. I always do when there's a big storm coming in. I just want to watch it, stay with it, go out in it. I know that's not smart and I usually resist the call of the wild.

  4. Annie, I like a good storm, too, usually, but today's was different. It didn't have much thunder or lightning, believe it or not, just loud, groaning wind and driving rain. This one just made me want to crawl under my desk.

  5. Yikes, that didnt sound good at all. We're happy you're okay. We have tornados here, quite a few. it seems people forget how damaging they can be and they even ignore the sirens going off. We forget how quickly things can turn from bad to worse in the blink of an eye, until it does.
    We're happy you and your family are okay.

  6. How scary, Velvet! I've seen pictures of the random devastation tornadoes can bring. My daughter, at college in MO, is pretty blase about them. She said if the alarms sound, they just go inside. Ahhh, the vantage point of being a 21 year old without a concept of mortality, yet.

    Glad you are safe - and that the rain didn't keep you from running! Run, Velvet, run!

  7. I'd have been under that desk with you! I don't know much about tornadoes, other than what I've read or seen on TV/movies - but I do know I certainly don't want to be anywhere near one. Sure glad it didn't touch down there.

  8. Wow, you captured that feeling perfectly! I remember those storms from my time in Lousiana.

  9. boy what a word discription of the big wind.

  10. Austin and Sunflower, I don't know if we even have alarms for tornados around here. I've never heard one, but that could mean we've been lucky so far.

    TC, I like scary things, too.

    Jackie, you'd have been welcome under the desk. The whole time I was thinking about going under there, I was wondering how I was going to get out.

    Kat, I'm glad you recognized that feeling; I was hoping it would come across.

    Patsy, I've always been a little wordy...also a little bit windy;-)

  11. wow, must have been some storm!

    I envy you for your creativity, you just blow me away sometimes.

  12. Catching up after a yukky few days but this post made my day. Great atmosphere I loved it inspite of its dire warning.

    Glad you are all ok. :)

  13. Thanks, Janet and Sandy. I think that's the first fear-inspired poem I've ever written. Hope I don't get inspired that way too often!


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