Lightning comes late afternoon,
the quiet violence of forgotten religion.
She watches the sky cloud and
counts the seconds until thunder.
A summer storm,
the ignition of a flame or the
pulsation of an eye staring intently
at a face looking away.
She walks barefoot on wet pavement,
runs through muddy fields,
and balances dragonflies on slick fingertips.
This afternoon ritual, a lover’s return,
lifts her head and fills her body.
She is fresh, alive, and new.
Every time she gives up, she can find
a new reason to try again,
even if it’s just for the late summer rain.
She closes her eyes and sucks in her breath.
Her counting ceases as the thunder comes.
“Late Summer Rain” is previously published in The Fall of a Sparrow (2014) and Hazy Expressions (2008).