We seemed to run a gauntlet
on our jaunt back from northeast Kansas,
the run of the road somehow
taking us through the seams of storms
rising up in the summer heat.
A few sprinkles spattered the windshield
from time to time
as we skirted the fringes
of a line of deep red clusters forming
from Oklahoma to Nebraska.
A bit east of Emporia
a long low rainbow showed faintly
against the curling blue
of yet another cell
passing through the plains.
Riding up toward the long ridge,
we saw a series of stacked white rumblings
rising up above the Flint Hills,
their miles of rolling folds as green as spring
on the last Sunday of August.
A great herd of beef
speckled the banks of a distant pond,
bits of red and white,
black and brown sloping down to the water,
shoulder deep in brome and prairie grass.
Even storms can bring blessings,
a harsh caressing that dims the memories
of dry-stemmed summers
that splintered into brown winters
and seemed to last for years.
In all seasons
there is reason to give thanks
and pray for mercy.