There must be some subliminal thing going on, American storms and all that. It’s only now that I’ve realised it as I was screwing up my eyes trying to figure out where this one had sprung from. And it really did happen, the Wigan tornado.


It came at us from across the field

its cobweb strands spinning a furious

whip of leaves and twigs

and stone.

We watched, unmoving and ducked when it hit

and ripped off the soffits and threw them splintered high above the house.


by comparison to the one in Kansas

the one that killed that witch

and all hell broke loose

Her unconvincing feet bent in glittered shoes.

It was at the time he didn’t care

and it was up to you to put it right.

It was a Friday.

I know that because on Fridays

he came home reeking of classrooms and staff rooms,

of chalk and science labs:

of cobalt blue and sulphur yellow,

and instant coffee and the grime of other children.

And he couldn’t wait to wash off this weekday smell

and back out of the drive ’til Sunday.

We watched him go,

even waved

and then breathed again,

mother-daughter arms around waists.

We shut the door,

and phoned the man to fix the soffit.



Filed under poems, poetry, writing

5 responses to “Tornado

  1. I love “its cobweb strands” – good line!

  2. Lovely. And thanks for the like on my WordPress Geometry challenge post on my other blog. I’m going to follow you now – for the poetry at the very least!

  3. Great imagery. You’ve told an eloquent story.

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