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18 Tornado Child For Rosalie Richardson I am a tornado child. I come like a swirl of black and darken up your day; I whip it all into my womb, lift you and your things, carry you to where you’ve never been and maybe, if I feel good, I might bring you back, all warm and scared, heart humming wild like a bird after early sudden flight. I am a tornado child. I tremble at the elements. When thunder rolls my mother-womb trembles, remembering the tweak of contractions that tightened to a wail when my mother pushed me out into the black of a tornado night. I am a tornado child, you can tell us from far, by the crazy of our hair; couldn’t tame it if we tried. Even now I tie a bandanna to silence the din of anarchy in these coir-thick plaits. 19 I am a tornado child born in the whirl of clouds; the centre crumbled, then I came. My lovers know the blast of my chaotic giving; they tremble at the whip of my supple thighs; tornado child, you cross me at your peril, I cling to light when the warm of anger lashes me into a spin, the pine trees bend to me swept in my gyrations. I am a tornado child. When the spirit takes my head, I hurtle into the vacuum of white sheets billowing and paint a swirl of colour, streaked with my many songs. ...

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