The Aftermath of Winter Rain

Sometimes in the aftermath of winter rain
that falls on a sort of warm day on the plains,
while the water seeps through the rocks
and spills down the ditches and into the creeks,
there will come a bit of a cold snap,
a sharp and sudden Arctic leaking
that comes coughing in from the north,
heaves of hard wind sending the temperature
searching for January toward the end of December,
single digit readings and a killing chill.

If you remember to look off to the side
while you’re driving by those low bluffs
and winding cuts that say “enough”
to those miles of prairie pastures
spreading across the Flint Hills,
you might see the frozen spills of ice,
clumps of white sprouting
like the beards of ancient elves,
bulging out slightly from shelves of stone,
the seeping of groundwater caught in slower motion,
spikes and ripples and rolls, clear and translucent,
a descending beauty brilliant in piercing sunlight,
or else gleaming from the shadows,
an unexpected bit of beauty beckoning
from miles square of bare-bladed grass,
caught in the pale tones of summer long past
and waiting for the burning of spring.

There is, even in the bitter fallow of our seasons,
reason enough to believe that the very thing
that aches us to the bone
may become the seeping source of our own
most transcendent moments,
the healing pain by which we gain a greater beauty,
and sends a grace that brings a calming joy—
even in the face of a lancing wind.

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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