Sunday, April 17, 2011

raleigh before the tornado hits

Cresting the inner loop
after seven hours of slick asphalt,
the city stretches before us
shrouded in haze the yellow
of nicotine stains. Trees droop
still as skyscrapers, the radio spits
static. In the rearview black clouds
churn, the children sleep, and I
press the gas until my foot goes numb.


The kids and I arrived about 15 minutes before the tornado touched down in Raleigh. At least three died in the city limits, and many homes and businesses suffered major damage. Tornados continued to wreak havoc throughout the state, with more lives, homes, and hopes lost. Peace to all...


  1. That is so frightning. Glad to hear you and the kids are safe. :)

  2. Oh my god! What happened when you got there? Did you have a basement to hide in? You must have been scared out of your wits! I'm glad to hear you're OK, but what an experience! Details!!!!

  3. I had a chill go down my back when I read your entry. Tornadoes are so destructive and so frightening. Glad to hear that all of you are fine.

  4. Mother Nature is a force, as is this piece. I love that you included how the children were sleeping - in the face of danger, sometimes they do the most normal things.
    I feel for the families who've lost lives and livelihoods.
    Thanks for sharing your experience, Linda. Peace to you.

  5. I just read about the tornados last night. How terrifying, and all those poor families. I think your poem really captures that eerie calm before the storm, and a mother's fear while her children sleep.

  6. Just as the others said, I am so grateful you and yours are safe. Your writing evoked strong emotions.
    Three hundred dead in our nation from natural forces. I pray help gets there faster than in New Orleans and the areas affected there.