“Though I were right my own mouth
might condemn me.” Job 9, 20
In failing August light, heat ballets, prances
tasseled fields: golden cornstalks turn away.
His six year old daughter, with eyes that comb,
reaches through the Ford’s window; planes her hand.
He smiles, strokes her flying hair. Placid sky
splits. Sudden wind plows
blunt, like granite.
Concussive waves wallop;
sound like God stalking Eden.
roots chariot fire.
The coiled funnel strikes the field;
“Oh, God,” he cries out.
Jerks the wheel hard right.
The car skids,
and sails into the streaming ditch.
“Out,” shoving her first, him after,
into the muck.
“For God’s sake, Connie, stay down!”
Covers her body with his.
Terror, like lead shavings under his tongue,
He raises his head:
he growls into the maw.
The avatar clawing the mud-clogged ditch
screws back on itself,
undulates above them.
the corn one field over;
slithers up its spout,
He raises her up from the grasping muck.
Knows it’s gone, rips the chain and cross from
his neck, “God damn you,” he spits, throwing it
into the empty field, “you do this just for sport.”
Spent, he holds her tight, no longer sure of himself.