Mower County Poems

Descending Into The Storm Cellar

After lunch Uncle Milton slept in his armchair.
Aunt Lillian napped on the mohair sofa.
Grandma sent me to the storm cellar for spuds.

I lifted the cellar doors and descended
Into our lee against tornadoes.
It was a cool Hades with ceiling pipes
Leaking sleep onto the dirt floor;
Cobwebs choked me like sticky hairnets.
There was an odor of cement and bones.

Groping for potatoes, I clutched a dead bat.
It had stoned itself darting
Between the walls, searching for an exit
From a hell too dark even for the blind.

Grandma met me at the front porch.
In the sunlight I delivered the potatoes,
My face twisted by my visit to a
Catacomb that bred dead things
With white legs growing from their eyes.

I left Grandma standing at the sink,
Peeling evils from the underworld.