Just a few missed warning signs
Before the blast
The fierce flash of light
The sonic boom.
The toxic fallout of the mushroom cloud
Envelops everything in sight.
No one is safe.
Soft tissue mottles over
Twisting and contorting the familiar
Into something unrecognizable.
Ugliness oozes from each pore
As rage pours from every visible orifice.
The genie is out of the bottle now.
Pandora is out of the box.
It’s too late for a cork or a levee or a bunker.
It’s in motion now
Sucking in every object and subject
In its vengeful path.
Just be still
Ride out the storm
Wait for the rain
Hope for the best.
A brief respite
Full of false hope.
All hearts pound as
The storm feeds on itself.
The banging of the shutters slows
To a more predictable beat
But the damage is done.
The family landscape is scarred again.
Finally, there is quiet
Not peace, just exhaustion.
As survivors venture forth
Tiptoeing carefully on those eggshells
Lest the wrathful beast reawaken.
A final gust of tainted wind
Jarring but not dangerous
Shudders with uncomfortable regret:
"Sorry, guys, Mama is just having a bad day.