Back to Issue Three.

Tornado Elegy



We arrived to find the gold- 
rimmed lids opened beneath 
the bed; your hands tornado- 
spun, green, your strength 
eroded – hanging against 
the headboard, lax, visible. 
You couldn’t hold up 
one pen to write down 
what had happened. 
We knew that the etchings 
on the wall were from before – 
from a time when catching 
tornadoes and naming 
them had been all you knew. 
We found labels peeled 
and cut into pieces tossed 
by the bed. How temporary 
and weak your sky 
had become, these fragments 
of blue and gray. You picked 
at scars scraped, bleeding, 
shaved with tails of 
tornadoes, your face 
blackened. We looked 
out the broken window 
imagining tornadoes fleeing 
like butterflies emptied 
from golden cages. 



Mary Stone Dockery's poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Gargoyle, >kill author, Weave, Midwestern Gothic, Foundling Review, Breadcrumb Scabs, and many other fine journals. Her chapbook Aching Buttons will be released in January, 2012 by Dancing Girl Press. In 2011 she received the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award in Poetry and her chapbook Becoming an Island was a semi-finalist in the Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize. She is the co-founding editor of Stone Highway Review and a co-editor of Blue Island Review, in addition to reading for Gemini Magazine and working for Portal del Sol. Currently, she lives and writes in Lawrence, Kansas.