by Janice Northerns



your way through love
or the weather, just twisted
down to Texas, storm speed
clearing a path. On first sight, I loved
how I had no choice, how your whirling
force pulled me into the tangle
of the funnel cloud.

Even now, you persist in seeing every sky
gone green, your rusted tongue hinged
on danger’s copper twang
as you wait for twisters to rip
you off course, set you down
on new ground, everything open
again. You think sweeping up pieces
is all that’s left
for us: damage control.
Remember planning escape

when the big one hit?
You said we’d slide
under Deep Creek bridge, simmer
in the mud, the rest of the town
blowing down. Meet me halfway now
under that bridge, as sirens roar.
In this whirling wreckage
we are the eye,
and we’ll cut a fine wide door
 through the storm.

Janice Northerns

A native Texan, JANICE NORTHERNS currently lives in southwest Kansas, where she teaches creative writing, literature, and composition at a community college. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Roanoke Review, Southwestern American Literature, Iron Horse Literary Review, The Laurel Review, Wraparound South, College English, and elsewhere. She was named a finalist in the IHLR 2017 PhotoFinish contest and is a recipient of the Robert S. Newton Creative Writing Award from Texas Tech University

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