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The Oak Leaf

Wayward winds of October

Kyle Torr, Contributing Poet

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It was tryin’ times when the red skies came

Over the hills, those black ridges of shame

And the houses were stripped past their skeletal frames

A disaster unprecedented

‘Twas not one hour into Monday morn

When the winds turned heavy and swelled with scorn

Before even the firemen could arrive to warn

Too fast for anyone to prevent it

All of the people put out in the night

Fleeing the burden of infernal plight

When all of the city began to ignite

And more than just houses were lost

Charred remains of memories gone for all time

For elders, for children, for men in their prime

A return to form will be a treacherous climb

At an undesirable cost

I dashed with restlessness back into the room

My boots they were tremblin’ with every nearer boom

And the bloodcurdling thought of being presently entombed

Under ashes and debris where I stood

I escaped within moments of homes turning to rubble

We drove like madmen to escape the ragin’ trouble

And I looked back, and I scratched at my stubble

Sayin’ “Well, there goes the neighborhood…”

We watched from the steps of unfamiliar places

The fires, they stole away of all of our traces

Now a man in the dark he stands, and he’s faceless

With the embers falling down ‘round his feet

The wood-shingled roofs they lit up in a blaze

The outlying flames disappeared into haze

Their far-flung disturbance left me in a daze

As I mourned ‘neath the murky, grey sheet

Wilting leaves and burnt grapes on the vine

Oh, the harvest this year isn’t doing so fine

And the traffic’s at a standstill up and down the line

It’s been that way for hours upon hours

Can anyone spare me a shirt off their back?

I’m covered in soot, and my soles they are black

After trying to squeeze my whole life in a crack

In the wall to be saved by no showers

The fires they fell to the roar of the water

Mother Nature she clutched for the heels of her daughter

To pull her up by the bootstraps and lead her off to the slaughter

For the hydrants had cut off all use for her

So I ventured forth into the desolate land

To feel all the pages falling through my hand

And my knees buckled, I fell down and could not stand

As I was victim to the one Lucifer

Oh, those wayward winds of October skies

Blowin’ ash into town and smoke in our eyes

It was a long hard-fought battle no one had realized

And forevermore we had all better learn

So they planted a Lilly, alone in its field

With the dirt all scorched, blackened with no yield

It gave its whole industry to act as a shield

And now there’s nothin’ left to burn

Oh, little town of Saint Rose

When the carnage stops, no one knows

And it’s a drag to see you without any clothes

The forecast says fog on the Golden Gate Bridge

But it’s Smoke from the Red Skies over Atlas Ridge

Kyle Torr is a journalism student who lost his home in the Wikiup neighborhood.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Wayward winds of October”

  1. Toni Marie Corbo on November 3rd, 2017 4:18 am

    Kyle…I was so touch by what you wrote…My heart …my prayers go out to you & all the family…also for those who lost their homes too…it is so very sad…my heart is still heavy just thinking of all our family I’m sending all my Love to you …Aunt Toni/Uncle Mike

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The news site of Santa Rosa Junior College.
Wayward winds of October