A Thunderstorm On A Muggy June Night

A line of green marred with splotches
of yellow and red marching across
the area weather map in the corner
of the TV screen first heralds
the impending violent confrontation.

Like flashes of enemy artillery
silently lighting up the far horizon
for brief instances during war,
the distant, constant lightning
signals the approaching battle
Man versus Nature.

Closer grow the flashes,
now accompanied by a deep,
guttural rumbling of thunder.
Closer...closer...a sense of dread
now hangs in the air.

Suddenly, sheets of rain sweep in,
mixed with hail pelting down
upon the green lawn like white nickels,
noisily pounding on the roof.
The wind arrives, gusting strongly...
stronger yet...whipping the trees
into frenzied dances to and fro,
until it seems beyond their capacity
to endure the strain much longer.
Leaves and small branches fly
through the air, litter the ground.

The intensity of wind and rain,
with lightning strobe following
lightning strobe their nearness
measured by sharp crack or
by long rumble cause brave dogs
and wise men to cower and whimper,
each insignificant before the power
Nature has unleashed upon them.

The lights flicker...flicker...
then off goes the electricity.
Now they can but wait powerlessly
in the darkness, meekly hoping
to escape unharmed, undamaged.

After twenty minutes more of rage,
the thunderstorm slowly withdraws,
leaving a trail of debris and
downed limbs from broken trees
in its wake. Its distant, constant
lightning flashes now seemingly say,
I give back control of your world...
until I choose to visit once again.

Man and beast alike breathe a sigh
of relief at having outlasted the storm.

Harry Edward Gilleland      06.09.04