Tornado at Trowbridge

Tornado at Trowbridge
By Valerie J Laidlaw
June 15, 2020

As we quickly
Were ushered into the main hall,
We weren’t informed as to “why” at all,
We were told to bring our flashlights,
Plus, anything else
We’d need throughout the night.
We were entertained
By our camp counselors.
We all grouped together
Until, we all fell asleep,
Hunkered down.
Not a word was spoken
About the weather,
Any outside turbulence,
Lightning, or thunderous sounds.
Back then, no one had cell phones, internet,
And, at the camp, there were no televisions,
And, only the camp employees had radios,
Plus, access to an “emergency use only” telephone.

In the morning, we woke up
To torn down trees,
A small cabin blown apart,
And, the dock was all twisted,
Around into a randomly-stacked,
Nonsensical pattern.

Later, our families told us how worried
They had been throughout that night,
As a tornado moving towards us,
Had been spotted.
A tornado warning had been issued,
Claiming it to be within range
Of our campground’s site.

Nowadays, we all have access to radar, news,
phones, internet, in “real time,”
As it happens.
We aren’t innocent, naive, or sheltered, as we were on back on that night,
Even as informed as we are, at a very young age,
We still have a need to be able to trust, and hope that those who are in charge will keep us healthy, and safe,
Especially as unsettling things have become currently in our days.

Grmaval’s Visit

Grmaval’s Visit
By Valerie J Laidlaw
June 11, 2020

It had been months…
Sitting in a driveway, six feet away,
I watched my chubby, baby grandson,
Asleep in his stroller, yesterday.
His little bare feet, and cute little toes,
Then, awakening with his eyes, his ruffled hair, his nose,
His cheeks, and his twin-tooth grin,
I had all I could do to not reach out, and hug him,
And, his dad, my son, as I surely do love them!
Then, when his big brother energetically appeared, running outside,
Then, riding around, on his bike,
Showing me his new skill of laying tire treads, and skidding,
Then, locating his pogo stick, he jumped up and down on the pavement,
And, made a verb of “counting while pogo-ing,”
Then, waving “bye,” as he disappeared, just as suddenly, into the house,
I wished I could just go up to him,
So, he could be embraced, re-assuring him,
That, all of this “abnormality” isn’t how I feel about him,
That, I’m not rejecting him, as it seemed,
I’m just following the “rules of distancing.”
So, although I’ve been cautiously “quaranteened,”
I want all of them to stay healthy, as I possibly can guarantee,
As we wait, impatiently, for all this to just go away, so we can all be safe, healthy, and feel free!

Black Lives Do Matter

Black Lives Do Matter
By Valerie J Laidlaw
June 9, 2020

In the late ’70’s, way back,
I lived in Decatur, Illinois,
Raising “tow-headed” boys,
In a near Southern town, mostly Black.
My older boy, was in years only two,
He’d greet all who he’d see with a friendly, “How-do!?”
His Kindercare teacher, who was black,
Loved all the children in her care, and they truly loved her back!
My husband’s coworkers, I loved them all,
And, as I worked in an uptown card and candy store,
I was aware that the children, who were white, usually begged and fussed for more.
The beautiful children who were black,
Were respectful,
Their parents were loving,
And guiding,
Utilizing the social experience as a mentoring situation,
Throughout their brief visit with me at the store.
They all taught me, and educated me about their culture, and who they were,
Treating me unconditionally with love, caring, and more.
Yes, I do believe, “Black Lives Matter!”