The day was muggy
and overcast,
with grey swirling
clouds massing
into a thunderhead.

Suddenly, it got very quiet.

The wind died down,
the air became
very, very still.
The silence was deafening,
the pressure ominous.
A storm was brewing.

I whistled to my dog
and started to run;
the wind picked up
and chased me.

The prairie grass
glowed green beneath
the bruised sky,
and on the horizon
the clouds began to spin.

The house seemed far away
and my feet pounded
on the brittle earth
that housed browned
grasses and thirsted
for a good, soaking, rain.

But I feared the grass
would have to wait,
for this storm would not
open the waters of heaven,
but the wrath instead.

As I reached the house,
I turned back to look,
and saw the finger of
some violent god
reaching down to
bless the earth.

Spellbound, I watched
as it made contact
and began to writhe,
pulling up everything in its path.

Inside, my family listened
to the crackling radio,
sitting on the dirt floor
of the shadowy cellar.
The swinging bare bulb
had been abandoned for
the flickering, but steadier
flame of candles.

Here, we were safe,
here, we would survive
any onslaught that Nature
could throw at us.

I sat and listened,
tense at the danger,
my dog curled up at my side.

A flash of lightning,
a roll of thunder,
and the rushing sound of the wind.

I stayed up all night,
half-fearful that the tiny
house would be
ripped from above us.

But even should the
twisting coil of winds
pass directly overhead,
we were safe in the arms
of the gentle earth.

By morning,
everything was windswept;
not even the dew remained.
But we were safe,
we had been spared.

Thirsty, I got a glass
of water, and remembering,
gave libation to the
parched grasses and
the giving earth,
thankful for the gift of life.