Sitting it Out
We hauled off to sit it out on some overgrown island.
These storms sidled, no speedy summer front
but businesslike layered ranks of purple cloud
and the building crush of thunder.
The flickers took on, and claps began to linger.
The first deep bump raised my hair and I pulled us off,
spaced us out so someone would live to tell,
and hunkered in the undergrowth. Nothing but
to sit it out.
It steadied down on us, windy now and solid rain gone cold.
Nothing but to sit it out, hunching under wool
and layers, still and solid while the lightning made its mind.
These times allow no moves, no dodges. Make your
choice, set yourself down, lean into it.
Keep still and let it run off your hat.
The interval of waiting, facing the possible, is worse than the
longshot likelihoods. It would be already quick.
We crouched immobile there an hour or so.
Nothing came close, but it could have done. The odds are ours.
Some sharped sudden, one strobed and dawdled along the ridge-top opposite,
chosen for the purpose. Today would not complete my circuit.
The sky lightened and we moved along in jealous grumble.
Cottonwoods made their rain smell, the fish began to bite,
and the rain which so annoyed before
now seemed a gentle benediction on continued living.