Monday, February 14, 2011

Tornado Watch

Red Shuttleworth, Galveston Island, 1976

Tornado Watch

Lightning slices above Texas City,
the refineries and Dairy Queens.
Our dining room table is a table cloth
spread over a dozen cases of Lone Star.
A piano is rolled into a field.
The land has been unzipped.
Two men stand on the piano
& count oil wells.
We send out invitations,
but only piano keys arrive.
We send out appeals,
but we can only smell
an overheated radiator.
What muscles the land has,
a violence of separation.
A window flies across a pasture.

This poem first appeared in Southwest Review, edited by Margaret Hartley, in the summer of 1979.

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