Late Summer Drive through the Flint Hills

A stiff breeze bends stalks
across miles of blended grass
as I drive through the rolling plains,
heading east from El Dorado
through the Flint Hills of southern Kansas.

A mix of greens and tans
and hints of autumn shine in the sun
as ripples of reflected light
define the arced angle of shuddering grass—
a silver second in my brief passing.

Jags of stone emerge from thin soil
along the banks where wet-weather runs
make their breaks and turns
through a tangle of roots and rocks.
In greener season drenching rains
can turn a barren bottom
into a rush of running water
that will sometimes over-run the road.

Today, though, in the dry dying of summer,
only a few pools break the twisting runs of rock
beneath the long-shadowed limbs of cottonwood.

Near the top of the last hill before Emporia,
I pause for a look back toward the west.
A red ball sunset glazes the shimmering prairie:
greens and golds, blonds and tans,
and a myriad of orange hues
sift through this shifting view of limber stems
and a seemingly boundless span
where the cattle of a thousand hills
graze their way toward the ending
of this good day the Lord has made.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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