He could see the storm blow’n in,
black and cruel,
a giant hot vacuum,
sucking life from the ground as it came,
a twisting serpent sent from hell.
His wife and children sent ahead,
they hid beneath the parched land,
in a hole dug by his father now dead,
one he had braced with his own hand.
How long had he heard this terrible howl?
Was it the dying scream of a land once proud,
of a farm dream now gone still,
silenced by a storm so loud?
He saw it hit the farm of Fred Cox.
The cut hay in the fields blown about,
swirling like toothpicks spilled from their box,
too many sticks to ever pick up.
He could hear the cries of his wife and children,
begging him to come and join them in the cellar.
But he was a deer frozen in the car light,
he couldn’t turn away from the terrible sight.
He watched as it crossed the lower forty,
making its way along the creek,
tearing away the irrigation pipe,
knocking down the small hay barn
with one fierce swipe.
Why seek shelter, how much more could he bleed?
The farm was mortgaged again for this year’s seed.
Did he really care if he lived or died?
Then he felt his wife tugging at his side,
pulling him, down into the hole so black.
In that dark, cramped space,
he soon realized his reason to live.
It was written on each terrified, loving face.
He held them in his arms like a shepherd,
soothed them with words of courage.
The storm beat upon their hidden lair,
attempted to steal their very air,
it covered them in thick dust,
and yet…they did not despair.
Finally, there was a great stillness.
A great peace filled the air
as they opened the battered door,
they found their house still standing,
as one they exhaled their fear.
The storm had taken a veer to the west,
missed the main barn as it went past.
The garden appeared intact,
although, blown about like the rest,
still containing roots in the earth.
Their children held fast to them,
but with reassuring hugs,
were lowered to the ground.
They ran to their toys
and began to pick up what they found.
His eyes met his wife’s.
Together they looked around
and began to do the same.
After all, could they do less?
Isn’t this what life is all about?
Isn’t this the farm dream?
edit on 06/02/2011 by grayeagle because: capitalization