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Just A Transient In Tornado Alley.

Updated on January 25, 2013

Just A Transient In A Tornado Alley.


Oklahoma rain beats

a hard scrabble on my roof,

and my windshields.

Rivulets of dust run off

in long patterns of brown and clear.

This is the stuff the farmers dreamed of

when the seasons were stingy

during the dust bowl era.

Acres of what could be nourishing

fresh corn and wheat are

being wasted on the lifeless metal

of my car and over the concrete roadway.

A demon of the storm

three tractor trailers long ,

leaves me in his backwash

immersing me in an ocean of splash

a baptism.... Ozark style.

Tornado warnings draw my eyes

to the blackened horizons

I lived through one in "69"

in a rickety old trailer

that didn't get sucked,

after a tree fell in front

of a car full of kids who had

no where else to go,

and sought shelter there.

We didn't know that it was

an aluminum deathtrap.

we played cards, and laughed,

and drank beer

while the winds howled

and ripped outside.

The trailer shook, and shuddered

but it held it's ground

so we went home later

after the roads were clear.

But in Oklahoma...

tornadoes aren't as polite,

they suck freight trucks,

and cars right off the road

if they are of the mind to.

They erase whole sections of land

expelling them across acres of grief.

Oklahoma rain scrabbles hard

on the roof of my car,

brown and clear rivulets

run swiftly down the slopes

of the aerodynamic design

It's only now that I wish they had

made this car a little aerodynamically lower.

My windshield wipers are exhausted

like a madman standing on the tracks

waving at a freight train to stop,

they are useless against

the oncoming torrents.

If all else fails...I'll have to ditch.

I'll take my poetry,

that unopened bottle of tequila in the back

plus a couple of prayers

I memorized in Sunday School.

Then find myself a

shallow trench, the car's insured,

the luggage is just clothes

they can be replaced.

Oklahoma rain beats a hard scrabble

on the roof of my car and suddenly

I'm just another transient in

Tornado alley.... a tempting target

for a sudden twist of fate.



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