May 23, 2011

Amid the suburbs
And winding streets,
Miles of debris cover
Once-green yards with
Garbage and treasure.

A woman carries a
Small infant child,
Both of them barefoot,
Through what used to be
Lincoln Avenue.
The bag strapped to her back
And the plastic bucket full
Of damp clothes and diapers
Were all she had left
But at least
They lived.

A two-story home,
Ripped from its secure
Wedges itself comfortably
Between two light-poles
A hundred feet away.

At the foot of a
Pale sycamore lies
Half of a small sedan
Wraith-like metal
Cold, wet, and silver
Bowed in the shadow
Of nature’s fury.
The tree still stands,
But the bark is gone,
Hours of wind had
Stripped it naked and
Left the white rings
For the world to see.
In place of leaves, it
Now has a canopy of
Insulation, cardboard, and
One bright green dress
High in the skeletal boughs
Tattered by weather’s shrapnel
But still in one piece.

It is a terrible sight;
One lone tree, daunting
The wasteland of
Lincoln Avenue.
However, it is almost silent.
The eerie quiet is only
Shattered by the sound
Of a distant siren:
One more lost soul.



5 Responses to “Twisted”

  1. This was an unsettling read. It reminded me of the tornadoes that blasted through Tuscaloosa and Birmingham last month.

  2. Oh. This is sad. 😦 What inspired it?

  3. Michael Says:

    You’re both right on track, actually. This piece was inspired by a recent news report about the wreckage of a town in OK. Here’s hoping all those people are all right.

  4. Unsettling indeed; and interesting that you should say this poem was inspired by a news report. My first thought was that your poem was a more telling and emotionally charged news report. Not what you’d usually find in a newspaper but, exactly what TV news broadcasting attempts (and usually fails) to get across with words and video images. Your poem conjures images of a natural disaster; for sure; but the images could just as easily be superimposed on the manmade disasters of war.

  5. Michael Says:

    Goodness gracious lol thank you so much. I tried to really capture that visceral imagery.

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