Helen Webb


It happened many years ago, the Summer John was eight.
A circus planned to come to town. I can’t forget the date.
In the old field house it would be, in early afternoon.
It was to be on Saturday, the eighteenth day of June.
John begged and begged for us to take him down to see the show.
Our son had never gone before, and we could not say no.
The week before it was to be, I had an awful dream—
I saw John stand in pools of blood…I heard his fearful scream.
It did not seem that he was hurt, but someone surely was.
I pondered long who it might be, and what could be the cause.
It bothered me so very much, I had to tell my Joe.
“I think God might be warning me, perhaps we should not go.”
“Nonsense, my dear,” he said to me. “It’s something that you ate.
Your dreams do not mean anything. I don’t believe in fate.”
So I dismissed it from my mind, and tried my best to be
Convinced it only was a dream that came by chance to me.
But when at last the great day came, we didn’t get to go.
For John woke up with chicken pox…broke out from head to toe.
When we did not appear that day to occupy our seats,
Another couple with their son, got them. Their name was Keats.
About the middle of the show the roof collapsed that day.
Soon we were told the awesome news. I still can hear them say,
“It surely was a miracle that only two were killed.
For every seat was sold today; the old field house was filled.
But two big beams that crushed the Keats held up the roof enough
That every other single one, got out with all their stuff.
But, oh, it is so very bad, about that little boy.
He was the only one they had. He was their pride and joy.
And he is now left all alone without a mom or dad.
They were his only family…no relatives he had.”
I looked at Joe and saw that he had turned white as a sheet.
A miracle it surely was…one that could not be beat!
The next day Joe and I went down to see what we could do
To help that other little boy, and that’s how we got Lew.

Helen Webb, 83, of South Point is a longtime supporter of SPL competitions, and a well- known winner of regional and national creative writing contests. She is a retired teacher and natural storyteller. Her narrative poem about a clairvoyant warning that turned disaster into a miracle won the 2010 laureate poem. She has published one book of poetry entitled 62 Poems That Sing. Her sign is Virgo.