Tornado by Terry Allen



In the downpour and darkness,
it swept southeast for six miles,
cutting across the Kansas prairie,
leaving not a house, barn, tree,
or headstone standing in its path.

At the Hutchinson farm, seven horses
were killed and Mrs. Hutchinson
lost her life. Her arms and legs were found
in a treetop a mile away from where
she had prepared the evening meal
an hour before.

As soon as the storm had passed,
the awful hunt began.  All night long,
with lanterns in hand, neighbors searched
for the dead and dying.  The last body
was discovered the next afternoon.

And on a Sunday three days later,
the Union Pacific ran special trains
to Williamstown for people
to see the damage.

About the Poet
Terry Allen lives in Columbia, Missouri and is an Emeritus Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he taught acting, directing and playwriting. He directed well over a hundred plays during his thirty-eight years of teaching.  A few favorites include: Candide, Macbeth, Death of a Salesman, and The Threepenny Opera. He now writes poetry and has been published in Fine Arts Discovery, Well Versed, I-70 Review, Freshwater Poetry Journal, Boston Literary Magazine, Garbanzo Literary Journal, Bop Dead City,Third Wednesday, and Star 82 Review.