Nebraska, May 2001

If you don’t like the weather

wait twenty minutes, just like that

from sun to tornado, a wild ride—

home base to the edge of town

where the roads flatten into single-lane gravel

as the Kimball county sign flashes by

in lightning that shows we’re almost there

almost at its heart

almost got it by the throat

a funnel ready to drop from the telltale

wall cloud, all that potential pressure

and if we drive farther

just a bit faster

we may arrive

see that smoky white shard from the heart of God

stretch to scratch its message in a field—

a hieroglyph in dust and root.


Or the wind may shift

that olive green light

all those sure signs

now tricks and winks

leaving us with bones creaking

in the barometric weight of lost chance.