by Loretta Diane Walker

Two weeks ago, this desert West Texas town
languished, watched a bullying sun
train orange knuckles on the city.
It jabbed air— skin with temperatures
of one hundred degrees and more.
Light was hot; dust was hot; boredom was hot.

Patches of bruised yellow grass,
garden plants streaked with heat welts,
city utility workers sweat stained uniforms
were proof of brutal beating.
The wind too lazy or scared did not help,
wouldn’t even lift its hands to blow hair.

This afternoon, when I tried to nap,
that fickle wind howled, complained,
flailed its arms at a graying sky;
windows, wind-chimes, trees trembled at this tirade.

A cavalry of heavy clouds, decked in black hats
strolled in from the east, covered the city.
Wind cowed into stillness,
sun rolled down its sleeves in defeat,
I slept, the air a sponge of cool relief,
rain—a wet gauze of healing.

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