A STORM BREWING
I don't what them to see me,
here beneath the side porch
where I hide when they skip rope -
play beneath a maple tree.
I know the big one, she stares
talks, soon she will point at me –
I’ll start to cry.
I never hurt her or pointed –
never asked her to play, she
would say no.
So what if she's bigger - she lives
right across the street; still stares
at me beneath her maple tree –
at me, under my steps.
It was normal, I kind of got use
to her until the day clouds
gathered above that tree, and
all the children skipping rope
stopped skipping. All the people
on sidewalks near my steps –
walked faster. . .
Why I wondered – staring up over
the tree. Then – the big girl yelled
over, “A tornado soon – you better
hide.” I thought she was teasing
me, but I did hide in storms. I was
petrified in storms. And last week
a storm tore roofs off houses, Daddy
he hid beneath a tree on the golf
course and Mommy yelled. I guess
no one should be near a tree.
The kids, they were standing beneath
the maple tree, and had to be telling
fibs. As the cloud grew darker, I
began to believe her – all the children
scattered, so I ran up the steps, opened
the screen door, and sank to the floor.
What to do? Mommy and Daddy
were shopping – what if the tornado
hit the store? I called information –
asked for the phone number,
dialed it, and asked to talk to my
I guess they called their name over
some load speaker. The woman told
me they paged them.
What was paged?
I only wanted to talk to them –
tell them about the storm.
Finally I heard them talk, as
they said, “Don’t worry.” Telling
me no storm was coming – I had
nothing to hide from.
Well – I never did tell them
about the big girl, who skipped
rope under the maple tree –
or me, crouched beneath our
Nancy Duci Denofio
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