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Greetings! I’m a writer, editor, and teacher, and I enjoy connecting with readers and other writers. From 2017 to 2021, I served as Alabama's Poet Laureate. I call this blog and website "A Map of the World" because I think that, as writers, we each map the world through our own lives and imaginations. Welcome to my particular map! To get in touch, you can email me at forjenhorne@gmail.com or find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/for.jen.horne where I post a Mid-Week Poetry Break every Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

One of my favorite mis-hearings is "partial post"

For about a year and a half now, I’ve been—off and on—working on a blog post about the April 27, 2011 tornado that hit Tuscaloosa. The writing includes such things as volunteering, survivor guilt, Christian music over the p.a. system at my local Winn Dixie, why I decided to join the local Unitarian-Universalist congregation, third-person versus first-person narration, shock and whether you know when you’re in it, civic responsibility, dogs, my inability to operate a chainsaw, and where I belong. It has finally dawned on me (I am a slow learner) that I may have an essay, a meditation, a series of journal entries, or an open letter to the universe, but it is not a blog post if it takes you a year and a half to write it.

So, in the spirit of working with what I have as I have it, here’s a short poem that has some of what the essay-thing might eventually find its way to in prose:

After the Tornado

I would have passed her by
in the grocery store
without a second glance,
and she me.

The round blonde,
the skinny black girl,
two worlds,
worlds apart.

But standing in line
to volunteer
after the bad storm,
we spoke.

She was six months sober;
I knew her mother’s thrift store
down on Crescent Ridge,
now destroyed.

Leaving, she grabbed my hand:
“I love you!”
And, not thinking first,
I said, “I love you, too.”

                                    (Drawing by Josephine Anderson)

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