half-acre summer (a revised meditation on a thunderstorm)

I had fallen asleep,
nose inches from the window’s screen.

     A deep roll, a sky belch,
     roused me.

Already the afternoon sun is blanketed, overwhelmed, gauzed.
A seeping, leaden heat rose,
tethering the clouds to the earth,
      the earth to the clouds.

The stand of black locust hangs over the fence,
a huge, lush ambassador of the forest and of time we know nothing about.
It begins to sway now, like some leafy landborne anemone:
     shimmering tendrils tugged
     by the gathering wind.

Another roll and I am fully awake to this awakening.
Building with deliberate, unwavering pacing
toward some action both incomprehensible
and entirely mundane.

It is felt in the resignation of the trees’ branches, which submit completely.

It is felt in the air’s dead anticipation:
     soon to be cleft, rent.

     The grass waits.
     The terracotta tiles wait.
     The fence waits.

The sky opens as it blackens.
As the clouds release what gave them substance and form,
billions of fat drops are lost in the grass,
mark the tiles, coloring them all as one.

The world flashes incandescence,
arcing meaningless majesty -
     delivering the chest-felt sound moments later.

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