It seemed as though the storms
that began forming yesterday morning
spent most of the day growling and grumbling
like a pride of lions disputing the kill.
These particular cells formed along a line
running from northeast to southwest—
opposite of the way they usually do—
and somehow the red and yellow centers
didn’t seem to move at all,
hovering over Strother Field* for a few hours,
pouring another five inches of rain
on top of the twelve that already came
less than two weeks ago.
Water piled up on level ground,
stretching ditches into yards and roads,
sending the creek’s load spreading across the fields
and tiny toads hopping across the hospital parking lot
as if they had fallen from heaven
and had every intention of finding their way back.
The rain eased off by evening,
leaving a sheen of mud to mark high water
across the lowland spans of ripening wheat,
and a shining green on upland lawns.
And when I walked out in the night
to get the forgotten mail,
I saw a tiny blotch of light
breaking through the clouds off toward the west,
something vague and irregular in an unsettled sky.
By the time I turned back with mail in hand,
I could see within the dimness of that undefined glow,
framed by the blackened branches of a Chinese elm,
the clear crescent shape of a waxing moon.
*an industrial park located in Cowley County, Kansas, between Arkansas City and Winfield