262. April 14 Storm, Black Sunday: The Onslaught

Those that held,
And those that did not hold.
The stoutest houses held,
And most the weaker homes,
Though walls whined high, and
Sand sliced through.
The flimsy sheds,
The tacked tarpaper shacks
And jimmied, cardboard lean-to’s
Collapsed, smashed flat.
The dwellers scattered, crouched,
Or clung to beds.

Cars held,
Or did not hold.
For those trapped on the road,
They tried to inch
Just one more mile,
Their headlamps hopeless–
Then took shelter,
By a billboard
Or a tree.
Some cars ground to a halt,
The engine, carburetor, tank
Choked full,
Or starters shorted out–
The air so charged
That dash and car-doors
Shocked their hands.

What little soil was left
Would now be taken:
They’d thought they’d seen
The worst, but
They had not.
They gathered up their babies,
Wrapped in blankets,
Shored up dressers,
Tables, boards against
The windows–
Husbands, wives shrilled
Orders in each other’s ears
Against the wind.
They could not make out
One another’s faces,
Nor the patterns
Of the quilts clutched
In that dark.

And a few–
Some ran into the streets,
Cut loose and screaming.
Some tore their hair,
And shrieked out prayers and hymns.
Some shook their children,
Crying, “Judgment Day!”
Some held, and
Some did not:

They could not see.

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2 Responses to “262. April 14 Storm, Black Sunday: The Onslaught”

  1. Kaki Warner Says:

    Whoa. That’s intense. Great writing.

  2. sshaver Says:

    Kaki,

    I’ll respond tonight on the Welcome Page!

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