down the road     writings     author/artist     home



Table of Contents

1.outside my window

2.  a  lizard in snake skinned boots

3.  a dancing white elephant

4.  the pasture

5.  hoolahoops

6.  the curb

7.  the burden

8.  a life worth living




the burden


 a storm is coming in from the west
 it looks pretty bad
 wed better put up those chairs in the shed
 you think well have a tornado this time
 we might
 have you ever seen geometric cloud formations like those
 they remind me of scales, like those from the belly of a dragon
 the way the wind is ripping through those treetops
 I don't think we have much time
 lets pull the table in too
 would you grab that end
 I'll get the door
 you know, I never thought about it before
 but I wouldnt be surprised if it was tornadoes
 people experienced when they imagined flying monsters
 destroying their villages and devouring every living thing in its path
 its easy to envision the tail of one
 whipping trees out of the ground
 its nostrils blowing out smoke and dust
 as it thundered through the clouds
 flames shooting out of its mouth with every lightening strike
 picturing talons from a great beast
 pulling boulders and earth and living creatures up
 into the swirling chaos overhead
 hell I know what tornadoes are
 and they still scare the shit out of me
 hey the sky is turning a nasty looking neon green
 wed better get inside
 have you seen ruby
 is she out
 I think so
 there you are
 lets getchu inside girl

Page 1 of 3

 we hurried down the basement stairs
 and crawled beneath the mattresses
 propped up against the back of the cellar
 the wind rattled our old brick house
 as hail ripped through the windows and walls
 like rapid machine gun fire
 it sounded like a bloody war was going on outside
 you think the house will hold
 I dont know
 the ground started to move like waves of water under the foundation
 for a brief moment it felt like all of the air
 was sucked out of the room
 and then
 it got quiet
 no birds, no crickets
 not the sound of a human being
 and then thunder and sleet shook the innards of what was once our home
 and laid bare its skeletal remains
 somehow knowing the eventuality
 that daylight would come
 gave us little comfort
 as fatigue lulled us into a restless sleep
 in the morning we heard voices murmuring above ground
 we looked out and saw streaks of light fanned across the concrete floor
 Ruby was gone
 so was the house
 I whispered, "Are you okay?"
 "I'm all right.  How about you, anything broken?"
 "Im okay.  Just sore all over."

Page 2 of 3

 we crawled out of our soggy cave
 and walked up the stairs into a great big wide open
 sparks of sunlight reflected off the shards of broken windows
 bricks, splintered wood, kitchen appliances and cars
 tossed up in the limbs of leafless trees were strewn over the vast wasteland
 replacing the once manicured lawns
 with miles of twisted debris
 at the corner we saw a a line of young people
 heading east
 there were so many of them we could not see their end
 they were hauling something with this blood stained rope
 it was thicker than a mason's fist
 and looked like sinew connecting them from one shoulder to the next
 what are you carrying
 I don't know someone answered
 but dont worry
 without looking up he said
 were almost there
 we stood and watched as they groaned and moved forward
 like some kind of living organism carrying a great burden
 beyond the horizon of muscle and flesh
 without complaint


copyrights reserved by jenn weinshenker


Previous Next