Home > Poetry > Storm Over the Wasteland
Ira Sadoff
Published: Tue Oct 15 1974
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood
Storm Over the Wasteland

There’s a killing in the hayloft
the barnswallows fly out from the rafters
like ashes at a sea funeral

milk spills out from the buckets like blood
in the distance a tornado is twisting
the telephone wires into braids of hair

everyone is left speechless

we’ve been making love in the shelter
so when the storm passes over us
we won’t know what happened

I like it better this way

and when we go out again
everything will have been leveled
the trees will be one with the houses

cars will turn over like dogs
the stars might come out again
a mild frost will cover the plains

like a slice of skin that binds the wound

See what's inside AGNI 3

Ira Sadoff is the author of seven poetry collections, most recently True Faith (BOA Editions, 2012); a novel; a book of critical essays; and The Ira Sadoff Reader (Middlebury College Press, 1992), an anthology of stories, poems, and essays. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin House, The New Yorker, AGNI, The American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, he lives in Ulster County, New York. (updated 10/2018)

Sadoff’s AGNI poem “Self-Portrait with Critic” was chosen for The Best American Poetry 2002.

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