Tornado

© Chris Emeott/EmeottPhoto.comSummer storm above Saint Paul, as seen from the High Bridge

© Chris Emeott/EmeottPhoto.com
Summer storm above Saint Paul, as seen from the High Bridge

Just beyond the hem of the lake’s blue skirt
the sky turned suddenly jaundiced,
a weighted stillness, not quite your own, descended, and even the black pine
and birch hovered motionless
in a calm that bore no calm at all.
And for what must have been the briefest of moments you gazed, a child of seven,
transfixed on the sinewy black thread of the storm, its form swaying,
tearing the fabric of the horizon, throwing bits of cloud and gravel dust
as dogs and kids scurried into small, white cabins which suddenly looked as though they were
made to be thrown all along, something stolen from the set of someone else’s epic.
And years later you would not remember how it was you were pulled indoors,
or whose arm it was that lifted you
with the force of a blow, bringing you to safety,
nor how the storm at once lifted, lifted, like a needle from a phonograph
above the roofs of trees still trembling; and when you looked out again

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