apple blossom snowflakes
filling a green werewolf sky.
Mother calling to me in the distance...
MISS-EEE, MISS-EEE, MISS-EEE.
I know my name, but stubbornly don't reply.
Lightning flashes, crackles more near than far away...
A loud ripping sound as it tears the dark Lake Agassiz earth.
The afternoon more night than day.
I'm frozen, chubby hands grip white the handlebars of my
The bike I cannot ride.
I look up, nearly teetering backwards...
apple blossoms coat my hair, get in my eyes.
Impossible green sky.
Improbable pea soup clouds
so large they crowded out the pages
of my child-like imagination,
blotting out the uneven horizon.
Suddenly the sky snarls,
and a banshee siren fills the air.
One block away Mother stands bent oddly,
her apron rising from her hips at right angles
billowing out from her Bermuda shorts.
Ringing the dinner bell,
her hand is at her mouth in a pantomime of a scream.
I can't hear her, but recognize fear in her posturing.
Putting one leg over my bike,
magically, I rise
my legs strong, balance sure...
a hurricane gust of wind pushing me home.
Years later, crouching again
in the SE corner of our basement
I tell Grandma Alta about how our neighbor's dog Shep
and his doghouse were taken high away to heaven.
the wind, so strong, had pulled the pin of his chain
right from the ground!
"Child," she says,
"that's how it is."
"The devil wind will grab you in its jaws and sometimes,
everything gets taken from you
but the memory itself."
"Back then we never had no warning in Tornado Alley."
As she spoke,
I listened intently to the storm outside talking,
rattling the thin-paned basement windows,
as pea soup clouds were flying above us once again
in a green werewolf sky.
Melissa A Howells/ Meloo from Tilt-a-World
Copyright all rights reserved April 15th 2011.
True stories. All courtesy of Tornado Alley.