The tornado was approaching
and Father led me from the basement
to walk me out onto the lawn.

"Never again will we see a lake this flat or still;
or a sky the color of a brightly lit bruise."
He said in reverent, hushed tones
his eyes glassed over in love.

I thought if he was going to kill me
why not simply pull a trigger?
But I hid inside the flap of his coat,
whipping as it did in the budding wind.

He said, "No, you don't want to miss this."
and pushed me forth.

"Nature dies and the reaper
is coming to collect. Whether we face it
or cower, if it wants us, it will take us."

Like Riki Tiki Tavi entranced by the spectacle of the snake
swaying before it strikes, I thought of him. Crazy.

But now that I've lived
now that I've been stripped,
losing so much to storms, I wonder…

because it takes a certain courage to continue to accept, to continue to be awed
by this transient gift.

A/N – this wasn't my father, I was inspired by a friend's story. And while, for the record, I do go to the basement when the sirens go off (and I suggest you do the same)…when it comes to love and life, I've been trying to live it with this type of gusto.