“There’s a Tornado in My Mind” by Ann L. Carter
It comes and goes
but lately it’s been lingering.
Sometimes it wrecks the house,
leaving us to stand amidst the piles,
and how do I find the energy
to put everything back together?
Sometimes it takes my daughters,
with me a shell of memories,
desperate to find their photographs.
Sometimes I alone am swept away,
doubting that those remaining can ever find
forgiveness for the one who left.
Kansas tornadoes often come late afternoon,
a twisting tail to a still dog day.
But mine arrive past midnight,
telling me to touch
the sleeping child beside me,
to check her sister in the other room,
to stay still and close by
to all that may fly away tomorrow.
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Ann Carter Artist Statement:
Ann Carter lives on a small farm in the Flint Hills of north central Kansas. Her first (and
hopefully not last) book, Spiders from Heaven, recounts through journal entries, emails, and
poetry the adoption and single parenting of her two daughters. Her favorite writing exercise is
blogging a monthly essay. Among many possible future projects, she wants to finish a children’s
book featuring Frannie, a girls who dreams of riding a pinto pony across the prairie while
rescuing animals in distress. Ann has loved to make art since she was a small child and currently
does encaustic bird images. Encaustic because she attended a workshop to learn about it and,
after much frustration, decided it was fun. Birds because she believes these small courageous
creatures bring messages of grace. To see more about her art and book, read her blog, and watch
a short documentary about her family, visit annlcarter.com.