The Goodnight Tornado: Everyday Magic, Day 539

As many of you know, I’ve been writing poetry to go with Stephen Locke’s vibrant photos. Stephen reminded us today that it was the second anniversary of the Goodnight, Texas tornado. Here’s his photo of that tornado from April 22, 2010 along with the poem I wrote to go with the photo.

Goodnight, Texas

Goodnight, Texas, land of expanse and loneliness,

where the sky makes up for in height whatever you need

in width. Goodnight, tumbleweed and stark blue

against the gray fingers of cloud. Goodnight, billowing light

and speed, especially the turning away from and toward

that parents one errant tornado trip across the home

of sage and javelina, snakes pouring themselves underground

and the glistening vultures, who cleared out ahead of the front.

Goodnight, cobalt sky tipping darker as you rise. Goodnight,

rain and reflecting pond, where all secrets reveal themselves.

Goodnight, old story of old weather, and goodnight, waking panorama

of what’s to come. Goodnight to the whitest clouds, edged with

momentum, and the myriad angles of gray, surging ahead

with danger tucked into its folds. Goodnight, everything ready

to vanish, moved over the cusp of time by the coming stars

patterned on the clearest night sky the coyotes ever saw.

Our Aunt, Uncle and a Tornado Kitten: Everyday Magic, Days 331-332

Since the Joplin, Missouri tornado, our thoughts have turned to Ken’s aunt and uncle, who live there. Fortunately, they were out of the time when the tornado hit, thanks to the graduation of triplets in the family (good things did come in threes in this case). Unfortunately, their home was in town, and it was completely totaled, despite the illusion that it might be okay because the walls were still standing.

Even massive tornadoes can move in delicate ways. Our aunt and uncle’s garage was destroyed, but a china cabinet that shared a wall with the garage survived intact with all the china in pristine condition. The deep freeze in the garage made it through also but few of the trees did.

Thanks to good insurance, their children (and our cousins), and help from friends and family, including my sister-in-law who lives close by, our aunt and uncle are okay. They’re looking for an apartment, staying with family, and all their surviving furniture, clothes, photos and other stuff is in a storage unit.

Meanwhile, my sister-in-law and nieces found a tiny kitten who lost her mom to the tornado. This little one has relocated to Springfield, where she found acceptance by a neighbor mama cat who is nursing her. Some of my niece’s friends suggest naming the kitty Twister, but I’m thinking a name like Joplin might be best: the name of a town suffering tremendously but, against the odds of the last week, surviving.