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Cleanup after the Tornado

Story ID:5788
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA Usa
Person:Sick Kansas Kid
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Cleanup after the Tornado

Clean up after the Tornado in El Dorado

For the next three weeks
After all the chaos
There were Tornado warnings every night
Much sleep was lost.

I was working 4 til midnight
At the Skelly refinery
I was worried sick
For the safety of my family.

Don Lawrence,
My neighbor to the North said
Do not to worry
He would take care of Shirley and the kids.

This eased a lot of pressure
Weighing on my mind
Knowing that my family
Would not be left behind.

In the mornings
I would go down
And help some one clean up
With every one else in town.

The bulldozers had cleaned a path
Down the center of the streets
To provide access
For the firemen and police.

I walked down to Herb Bonnellís
And I was at a loss
All the landmarks were gone
Couldnít find Herbyís house.

Where Herbís house once stood
A couple walls were still upright
I recognized Herb,
My God what a sight.

The roof was gone
The garage just a cement slab
Herb saw me coming
Iím sure he was glad.

We saved the electric boxes
Switches from the walls
All the wiring we could pull
We saved anything that was good at all.

A plastic canister set sat undamaged
Beneath a cabinet in the kitchen
Coffee, Flour, Sugar etc.
Were in a safe location.

Herbies wife opened the one containing coffee
Said look Herbie this is in good condition
Dug in to the coffee with a spoon
Below the surface there was Rock wool insulation.

All the things in the canister set
Was Ok on the top
But just below the surface
There was the gray insulation glop.

He found things in his house
That didnít belong to him
An old Blow torch
And other things that had blown in.

As I was throwing pieces of splintered lumber
In the yard into a pile
We had to hurry
The Dozer would be here in a little while.

Every thing would be pushed into a stack
To clean up the debris
Then hauled off to the disposal area
To be burned immediately.

I had worked for a couple hours
I found a Holy Bible cover
The insides were gone,
While I stood there, an eerie feeling came over.

I found a Wall hanging
A plate that was in a wire frame
The plate was cracked, right through ďGod Bless Our HomeĒ
Mother Nature was to blame.

A lady and her daughter was out front
Looking up in a leafless, broken tree
Look Mom she said
Thereís the prom dress you got for me.

A large piece of Red cloth
Was waving in the breeze
I had done pretty well up to now
But this almost brought me to my knees.

I stifled a couple sobs
Wondering how they could bear the pain
With seeming indifference
And go on again.

That evening I went home
I said to Shirley Jean, my wife
Were selling our home
And starting a new life.

I advertised in the paper
Sold it within a couple days
To a man that had lost his house
And my asking price he did pay.

Vern Goodman was the one
Who handled the escrow
We signed the proper papers
On to California we did go.

You can see the Tornado devastation on TV
But until you have walked through one
The awesome loss is something hard to feel, and see
You really feel so helpless and alone.
Monte Manka 06-19-2006