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Storm Over the Wasteland

by Ira Sadoff

There’s a killing in the hayloft
the barnswallows fly out from the rafters
like ashes at a sea funeral

milk spills out from the buckets like blood
in the distance a tornado is twisting
the telephone wires into braids of hair

everyone is left speechless

we’ve been making love in the shelter
so when the storm passes over us
we won’t know what happened

I like it better this way

and when we go out again
everything will have been leveled
the trees will be one with the houses

cars will turn over like dogs
the stars might come out again
a mild frost will cover the plains

like a slice of skin that binds the wound


Ira Sadoff’s book, Settling Down, will be published by Houghton Mifflin. (Fall 1974)

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