Oh that furious funnel that swallowed
Dorothy every year, the whirling universe
of things that like necessity surrendered
her to song, flowers and color. Each year
Danny Kaye told us the beginning played
black and white, but I knew that, and why–
if I brushed my fingers across the screen,
warm gray powder from that storm would coat
my hand like ash on Catholic foreheads.
I knew this must be one thing done
with life. To see one. Remember: evenings
on the cool concrete stoop watching clouds
the ugly color of bruises sag low
to the naked trees until they seemed
brains dragging their network of nerves.
Then the woods purpled, the color
expectantly darkening to the shade of storm,
until you knew the connection would be made.
The sky was like this when Father and I
stood in the yard, saw ourselves repeated
in every lot down the street. And above,
the vast ornaments of weather leapt
head to head. His thick finger pointed up
Oakcrest: Look. Here it comes now.
Not that feverish thing. Something more mine:
a clear violent screen of rain advanced
until it was upon us, cold and stinging.
©2007 Joseph Allgren