The Weather in Kansas
By Jonathan Fletcher
I will never understand why you stayed in Kansas, even
when that tornado tore through our house, tossed you
around in front of me, flattened my hope you would
leave, or why you blamed yourself for its rage.
We deserved better weather.
You knew too well the warning signs of a tornado,
like the deceptive stillness before its approach, hid
me in the storm cellar as it roared, urged me to stay
until it passed, begged me to pray for good weather.
I prayed for an escape from Kansas.
As much as I blamed that tornado, I blamed you, too,
forgave you only after I fled, ensured my child knew
nothing of cellars, never witnessed a loved one hurled
in its path nor had to hear a mother’s hollow assurance:
“But the weather in Kansas is good sometimes.”