Storm Songs

By Kathy Cotton

Bassoon night. Bass drum and cymbals

and tuba night. An hour into sleep,

I waken to the wind’s deep reed and brass timbre,

limbs like mallet and rute striking rhythms

against the house, crescendo clash of patio chairs.

I fade into the storm song, a lullaby to me,


though never to Mother, whose raging fear

stowed me beneath the sturdy oak safety

of a kitchen table to wait out warnings.

There I wrote little weather songs:

“Tornado, Get Under the Table” and

“Blow Away, Rain.” There I perfected drowsing

to wind chimes and thunder drums, as I do tonight,


curling softly into a storm’s dark serenade,

wondering if it can be heard above the clouds,

or below the peaceful grass of Mother’s grave.


Kathy Lohrum Cotton is the author of two chapbooks and the 2012 poetry collection, Deluxe Box of Crayons, illustrated with her artwork. Cotton has served as editor for eight poetry anthologies and is a member of the Illinois State Poetry Society board of directors.

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