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Our Spirit Will Not Be Broken: Voices from the April StormsOur Spirit Will Not Be Broken: Voices from the April Storms

by Punky Burwinkle, April 29, 2011

Westminster Abbey,
The Tower of Big Ben --
A Prince of England
Is getting married again.

The bride is beautiful,
Her name is Kate.
The groom is Prince Will
Who waits there at the gate.

Thousands of people
Wave from the street.
Everyone's happy
The new couple to greet.

But here in our State
There is no festive air.
We are reeling from shock,
Our innards laid bare.

Our people are hurting,
Over 200 dead;
Destruction and ruin
From tornadoes we dread.

We watched on tv
As they tore through the towns.
Black clouds overhead
Funnels reaching the ground.

The wind swirling and twirling,
Trees toppling, poles snapping,
Houses collapsing, cars and roofs flying,
Arms around loved ones are wrapping.

In Merrie Old England flags are waving,
People cheer as royals pass
In Alabama tornadoes howled
Mowed down our towns like so much grass.

Life was sucked out of the houses,
Clothes and beds flew through the air,
Along with photos, dolls and rings,
Boards and bricks and granny's chair.

Survivors climb out of the basement,
Half their house was blown away.
There's nothing left upon their street;
They sob and stare in great dismay.
Where once were houses, stores and trees,
There's nothing left but rubble.
Debris and bodies strewn about,
A peaceful life burst like a bubble.

In Britain's joyous merry-making
Far across the ocean wide,
A glass is raised in great excitement -
The Prince has kissed his Princess bride.

But here our State of Alabama
Holds little joy for lives so shattered,
Brief visits by the deadly storms,
So many things destroyed that mattered.

It seems so very strange to me -
They cry in joy, we cry in pain.
Both start a path to build new lives.
They celebrate, we mourn again.