The Great Raid


Photo courtesy of the National Severe Storms Laboratory.

Above the high Comancheria plains
it began gathering, gaining power
along the way, like the great chief
Buffalo Hump storming out of
the Llano Estacado on his great raid.
The first town to feel its wrath was Victoria,
where a whirlwind spun off and
swiped clean the streets and then set off
to plunder the Gulf for its riches.
It was at Linville where the alarms
and howling drove the people from their homes.
The storm tore at the buildings,
emptying the town of life and
depleting itself of its bloodlust.
And then it was over.
The high plains at Lubbock,
hill country from Kerrville to Austin
and Uvalde to San Antone,
the piney woods and the coast,
all waiting for nature’s anger
to once more knit new storms
above the llano and sweep east and south
in another great raid across Texas.

The coming storms and potential tornados building and roaring across plains and hills of the southern Midwest stirred this bit of imaginary meteorological and historical mashup. There really was a great Comanche chief named Buffalo Hump and he really did lead a great raid across Texas in 1840 from the Llano Estacado in the west all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. It was the largest raid ever mounted by Native Americans on white cities in what is now the United States. I’ve got more than a few friends who live in harm’s way out there and I was thinking of them last night when this idea struck me.

4 thoughts on “The Great Raid

  1. Great poem! I grew up and lived in Lubbock, Texas until 7 years ago. You have accurately and beautifully described the weather patterns of Spring tornado season in tornado alley. When I was 8 I lived through the huge tornado that ripped through Lubbock. Not something you forget. Small world that you’ve even heard of Lubbock and included it in a poem!

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