Tornado: A Warning

Stephanie Rogers

                                                                 The storm exhales
inside the clouds. Heather, age 6, runs
               down the street, screaming. My mother swipes
Ian off the living room floor, carries him
                                        to the basement. My father jokes,
as always, because it's funny,
                                        to him, that Heather, age 6, forgot
her Big Wheel at a friend's house. The storm eats the face
                       off a mailbox. Heather runs down the street,
screaming. My mother pushes Ian's hair
              off his forehead. I press my brain against the lone
basement window, watch the storm
                   send the weeds in the yard flailing. My mother
wraps Ian in a blanket, while Heather, age 6, runs
                                 to her friend's house to retrieve her
Big Wheel. My father licks
the inside of a yogurt container spotless. The storm strips
bark from a tree like some kids peeling the paper
                                                                           off their crayons.