The Tornado Visits the Town

The tornado waits to become itself,
slowly turning above the interstate.
Radio words crackle through the air:
major rotation, place of shelter, but also
that was AC/DC with and
so I said Lady, you can keep the ring! and
folks, a donation today will—

This, the tornado sees, is a town
in need. Bankrupt of the fear
that makes life perfect and sharp
as a shattered plate.

So the tornado gathers itself.
Below, a few faces blanch in windows.
Some cars speed up.
The tornado dips and loudens,
rises, then dips again.
The tornado is gratified
to see a man cowering in a ditch,
a small girl racing from backyard to house.
Everyone is learning. The radios
are silenced. Then other noises
filter up into the turbulence.
A horse pawing at its stall floor.
A woman yelling In here, Kayla, now!
A litany of apologies: God, I’m sorry
for last New Year’s,
for refusing to visit my mother,
for calling the hunchback “the hunchback,”
for the accident, the spelling test, the six hundred dollars.
A man whispering Spare me, oh God, I’ll make it right.

But the tornado cannot stop. Will not.
The world cannot stop turning, and this minute
the tornado is the world. Cars lift like birds,
trees bullet, everything is collapse.
The tornado has no regrets.
Has no regrets.
Has no regrets.  end