The sky was grey
and grew darker
each moment,
though it was still early.

It was muggy,
silent, and hot.
The air was still,
the wind had ceased.
Around here,
no wind means
bad weather on the way.

I waited idly in
a smoky line
for burgers
at an outdoor picnic.

The mosquitoes were bad
and the line was long,
but the food and the
company were good.

Then, faint sirens began,
howling out an
ominous warning
that matched the clouds.

I was nervous,
was this a tornado?
Or just a caution
of coming hail?

I waited in silence,
with all the others
nervously joking
and laughing.

Then, the sirens
began again,
louder and more
insistent, this time.

I kept one eye
on the grey-clouded sky.

The others had been
from a neighboring town.
Was the tornado
moving closer?

They stuck us all
in a stuffy, nearby
basement to wait
out the storm.

Finally, let out
into the fresh,
rain-tinged air,
I rushed back home,
drenched when I
got there,
but that was before
the pour.

It turned out
it was only a warning,
not a twister,
but all the same,
instincts reigned
and my own mortality
manifested itself.