Cleaning Up after a Tornado

Finding a needle in a haystack. Counting all the grains of sand on a beach. Or, the stars in the  night sky. Impossible tasks and clichés. Add to that list, cleaning debris from a seventeen acre farm field. Pieces of houses, of lives, bits of shingles, wisps of insulation, particle board, vinyl siding, fences broken down. All of it strewn among the uncut grass, held in brambles and barbed-wire fence. Black tubs brought out for personal items, a photo among the twisted weeds. Hours spent picking up, only to look down and see more, see what was missed. It’s daunting. The scale is immense. How many stars in the sky? How many pieces of homes in a farm field? Where does one begin? How does one make sense of the scene, process what was and no longer is?


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