Monday, April 14, 2008

Tornado Over Kansas, by J. Steuart Curry (1929) (oil)

Thirty minutes ago I was sitting in the living room playing with my doll Molly. My Papa was outside working at the farm and my Mama was in the kitchen. Me and Molly were watching my brothers Timmy and Johnny playing a long game of checkers, when all the sudden it happened. It was so unexpected we were just watching them play and waiting for dinner to be finished then we heard it.
It was a siren that wailed so excruciatingly loud it felt like it burst my ear drums. This particular siren is one the one that now we ever wants to hear. It meant it was coming. Something was coming. The wind against my family’s house began to hit it with intense forces which caused a thunderous noise. I suddenly heard my father’s boots squishing in the thick mud. He was sprinting to the door to herd us into the storm cellar. My Mama deserted the food cooking on the stove and grabbed Jill, my baby sister. Timmy and Johnny’s faces were overcome with a white color and a panic look overtook any previous expression. They knew the answer to the one question I wanted to ask, what was happening? My brothers snatched up our two cats and directed Grits, our dog, outside. My Papa tugged my arm to lead me outside along with the rest of the family who was following.
I look up for that one spilt second at the sky. All I see is thick, foggy black clouds which now are dominating the sky and in the distance I saw a swirl of gray wind. It looked like a funnel moving tightly at the ground. High up in the sky it was wide and gradually decreased in size as it reached the distant ground. I heard Timmy yell “Daddy it’s a twister it’s a twister!!” So I then figured out that this twirling shape was called a twister.
My Papa began to throw us all in the storm cellar and I grew greatly with fear. This was something so unexpected to happen; I had never even been in the storm cellar for a long time before. On occasion I had put some caned food down there quickly as my mama had instructed me to do. But I had never been down in that small contained area within the ground for more than a few minutes. Now I’m not sure what is going to happen. Everyone seems so frightened and I feel as if I should be too but more than frightened I am confused. I just don’t under stand what is happening.

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