They walked through devastated streets. The derecho had its way with this small town. High winds tore off roofs and flattened walls. Had no respect for a newly decorated baby’s room or hi-bred roses clinging to an arched trellis. Twenty minutes of hell.

House gone, the James family sifted through rubble. Faint smiles shared when Betty discovered a shattered glass frame; reunion photo still intact. Down the road, Grampa Hilliard sat on a tree stump in the center of what had been his pristine front yard. Head in hands, he mumbled words of thanks to God for lives spared and green grass below his feet.

Talk what you please of future spring and sun-warm’d sweet tomorrow, this was the day the Lord brought. Grateful to be alive, they would sing His praises in church tomorrow. Monday they would begin the herculean task of rebuilding.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today is Prosery Monday and Sanaa has asked us to insert the line, “Talk what you please of future spring and sun-warm’d sweet tomorrow.” – from the poem A Daughter of Eve by Christina Rossetti into our piece of prose/flash fiction that is no more than 144 words long, sans title.

Iowa was hit by a derecho on August 10, 2020 when widespread, destructive straight line winds hit the central area of the state. Wind gusts measured up to 106 mph near Marshalltown. The story above is fiction.

15 thoughts on “Derecho

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) April 11, 2022 / 3:30 pm

    I had never heard about a derecho before… but I love the resilience of rebuilding what has been broken and that life had been saved.


  2. sanaarizvi April 11, 2022 / 3:37 pm

    Oh my goodness look at the state of that area! This is incredibly hard-hitting and poignant, Lillian. Thank you so much for writing to the prompt 💝💝


  3. Gillena Cox April 11, 2022 / 3:50 pm

    OMG!!! what the weather does soetimes, aweful/
    Brilliant prosery
    Thanks for dropping by to read mine Lillian



  4. Mish April 11, 2022 / 4:05 pm

    Wow, you brought so many clear images to the narrative. The destruction is palpable but the hope and gratitude for life shines in your words.


  5. Glenn A. Buttkus April 11, 2022 / 4:09 pm

    Add one more word to my limited vocabulary; thanks. This weather event must be just under a tornado. Nice use of the prompt.


  6. ben Alexander April 11, 2022 / 4:16 pm

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who was unfamiliar with this word – thanks for the education and amazing imagery, Lillian!



  7. rothpoetry April 11, 2022 / 5:13 pm

    Beautifully written, Lillian. I like that way you brought hope out of chaos!


  8. Tricia Sankey April 11, 2022 / 5:47 pm

    Great use of the prompt! We value life so much more when we see how fragile it really is! 👏👏


  9. Tzvi Fievel April 11, 2022 / 6:35 pm

    gratitude in time of calamity;
    renewal in the face of tragedy.


  10. msjadeli April 11, 2022 / 9:25 pm

    Such vivid imagery and an appreciation for what really matters when disaster strikes.


  11. paeansunplugged April 12, 2022 / 6:23 am

    The devastation that nature can wreak and the resilience of human spirit…very evocative write, Lillian!


  12. Helen April 12, 2022 / 7:55 pm

    Years ago a derecho roared through my sister’s 5-acre property in southeastern Ohio, the destruction unimaginable. Your prose piece brought it all back.


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