A summer heat haze
had settled over the prairie
as I enjoyed the long view
on my way back from town,
late afternoon. An hour before
the sun was due to disappear,
the northern sky had darkened
to winter-storm blue
and the temperature was dropping.

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On the porch
enjoying the reprieve,
the still air seemed chillier,
the sky darkening more,
an eery quiet at the barn
and I suddenly realized I’d better quickly
check to see if all the fowl had gone in for the night,
even though it was too early. A chicken
and guinea, of course,
were pacing outside the pens;
the solar-operated chicken door
was closed.
I opened another gate,
and they hurriedly stepped
into the safety of the barn.
Before I got back to the porch,
rain drops—rain puddles!—
fell on me. It was a downpour
we haven’t seen in years,
let alone
in July! It came hard and fast,
as other parts of Oklahoma
have experienced this summer.
3.2 inches in the gauge this morning;
still cloudy,
cool and breezy,
sprinkles.
We have had rain—an unbelievable,
12 inches in May. The plant growth
is astronomical. Sunflower patches
are high as an elephant’s eye—
to say it in a very, (strangely;
we don’t have elephants here)
Oklahoma sort of way.

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No rain in June,
historically the wettest month.
The ground is hard again.
While sunflower growth is strong
(their roots run deep,)
Ann has been watering newly-planted trees.
So last night’s long storm—
lightning, close; thunder, heart-stopping—
is cause for jubilation.
The birds seem to be singing
louder, clearer—
for all of us.