Wind Days

Happy Birthday, Tina!

Wind Days

we were released from first grade,

sent home in 100 mph


to walk home alone before it increased.

We knew how silly adults could be.


Tina and I collapsed on the silent side of a sandhill.

experience taught us exactly where to sit,

that spot in Chinook air shadow,

our little faces scoured fuchsia by fury of wind and sand,

now protected, a tiny stolen peace.


Finally, with renewed bravery,

we grasped one another’s hand, left our shelter.

Parka hoods became our punishment,

they whipped and lashed us with

torturous hood strings, our Inquisitors.


We knew when a quick hand squeeze meant

the other was blinded by

dirt or a zipper sting that blasted an eye.

On Wind Days your clothing

became your enemy.


We learned to walk blind for blocks,

slowly felt our way

so our weeping peepers were safe.


Sometimes we collapsed flat

in a dry ditch to save at least our backsides

from locomotive air.

Ending in Kansas from the Colorado front range

was not a stretch for our imaginations.

We knew Dorothy was our wind sister,

if only we two, could get to Oz.


In the ditch we giggled, thrilled and skittish,

we laughed until our sides ached,

until we had to pee.

Have you ever tried to pull your pants down

and tinkle on a Wind Day?

The stream, violent and unpredictable,

splattered sideways and rebounded, no way to aim,

which caused more hilarity and well, more pee.


Other times, we had to hide on the downwind side

of a giant cottonwood to gasp air,

the pressure stole our breaths

whipped words out of our mouths

sent them eastward, past Longmont, past Brush, past the sugar beet farms.


When we felt courageous, we grasped the

bottoms of our coats and hauled them behind us,

over our heads, makeshift sails.

We waited for a gust of air like surfers

readying for a wave.

You could hear it coming,

as it blasted down the first mountain ridge,

mirror clouds rolled lickety-split through the sky.

The gust grabbed our little bodies and our sail,

hurled us down the empty field until our legs

couldn’t keep up and we fell splat in the tall wheat.

We shrieked with terror and delight

licked the blood as it dripped from our knees.


We arrived at my house, first

relieved and exhausted from the trip,

dusk turned all color to gray,

my houselights gold

but we didn’t want to part,

both anxious about what waited in the light.

So, I would walk Tina home,

reveling in our Woman vs. Nature fight with

a Colorado Chinook.


On our way to Tina’s place, we dawdled,

hair slapped all around our heads,

we sat in tall weeds to hide from any siblings

that might lurk about.

Then Tina walked me half way back to mine…

And so it went until darkness won.

We shouted, “One, Two Three, Run,”

turned our backs and hightailed it to our respective troubles.


That night, wind howled.


The house creaked and moaned,

metal siding became loud whistles

that pierced through the din.


Roof shingles loosened and thumped east,

outdoor chairs and trash can lids clattered

into the distance.

I lay awake in the tempestuous thunder,

yearned for Tina’s morning knock,

another adventure on our way to school.







5 thoughts on “Wind Days”

  1. This is fantastic Carrie! Such detail and humor and live…wow.

    I would stay awake all night thinking a pine tree would fall on our house…

    (Please ignore the other email…I was trying to forward to Barry since he now has met Tina…)

    big hug, Nancy

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love this poem, Carrie and those two young girls, so brave, so in love with each other and the adventure of being alive. “We knew Dorothy was our wind sister/if only we too, could get to Oz.” Thank you for letting us experience the friendship of youth and the winds of Colorado with you.

    Liked by 2 people

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