All afternoon the clouds rolled in,
but then the thunder rumbled overhead,
shook the house on the hill,
and woke the fields from their dirty beds.

While shadows rushed across the porch,
telephone lines jumped and were snapped around.
Then a horse neighed, raced in confusion from the barn,
neighed again, and stamped at the ground.

The grass was whipped one way and then another,
and the birds cut dark paths in the sky, and a rag,
blown across the yard and caught in barbed-wire,
flapped in the wind like a war-worn flag.

And when the first drops were hurled from the sky,
dust rose from the road like puffs of smoke,
the yard gulped down a dry, thirsty sigh,
and the birds crouched in the stark branches of an oak.

But then the rain came in a crowd; it swept
down from a hill like the first wave of a flood,
pounded across the roof of the barn, washed the grass,
and turned the dusty horse path to mud.

In the house the electric lights blinked,
and the wet, fragrant air blew in under the door.
Then someone was heard running up the stairs;
he slammed a window shut on the second floor.