Dry Lightning

city night weather thunderstorm
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Feels like it might rain, like something might trickle through the seared air and quench the thirsty, dusty ground. It’s just a feeling though. Nothing to make it true. Even the clouds lie.

Next thing is a flash, a thunder peal, dry lightning somewhere in the hills. You think it’s far away because the bolt is disconnected from its scream.

A fire smolders. The wind spreads it, jumps it over the plowed break in the dry, brown grass. Acrid smoke and deep hued sunsets linger after the flames run their course.

No one dies, nothing changes. We think we’re lucky.

The Guardian

autumn barn colorado colorful
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It was a big tree, gashed along the side away from the barn. My grandpa calls it “The Guardian.”

Said he saw it happen in the big rainstorm of 2012. The sky alight, the thunder rumbling; the dogs scrambling for cover on the porch, yowling like every clap tore open an ear. Then a bolt hit the aspen. Hit it at the leafy top and seared into the trunk, so now you see the scar ripple dark down to the ground.

It’s grown some. Taller now. Stronger. Beloved. Hay bales safe under the barn roof feed the cows all winter.

Doors and Windows

pile of assorted title book lot selective focus photographt
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A clap of thunder sounded and a bolt of lightning rent the sky. Was it Zeus, Thor? She speculated.

A man’s girth filled the doorway. “Move.”

“Give us a break.”

He wore a poncho, blue with an emblem, shoulders uncertain. “Go on.”

She held a square of cardboard above her head. Behind her she pulled a shopping cart, a torn tarp bungeed on top. Arranged so her things stayed dry. Her life, her books.

He turned and went the other way while she rumbled along, not lonely.

She pulled into the next doorway. Maybe some god had tickled his ear.