How to survive a tornado
You'll need a heavy coat of metaphor
and fleece, some oil to keep you loose, and when
the winds thumb down upon your life pretend
to be a fish, transform your bones, explore
the bend, the slip of bodies fish adore.
There'll be debris as dreams and plans upend
and there'll be love, so spin your fins, extend
the feather of your gills and swim: for shore,
for light, the taste and press of scale to skin.
Be thin between the whorls and when the drain
begins the suck to draw you in, you'll need
to be a seed: sharp husked, a thorn within.
The storm will rage, constrict and spit. When freed
put down your roots. The sky will break like rain.
Perfect rhythmically, original and beautiful. Were you aware of the echoes you set going with internal vowel rhymes: swim/ skin/ thin/ begins/ in/ within/? Congratulations!
Anne Stevenson, March 2005