“Liberal, KS August, 1956″ by Maurene Trotter


Grass crunched under pink flip-flops,
Lurking stickers nipped loose toes.
Heat leached sweat from skin before it trickled.
Dust-hazed sky embraced summer sun.
A ditch by the road dented the treeless landscape.
Boys waged dirt clod wars;
Puddled by the driveway, mud oozed between little girl fingers.
Lift of wind stirred curls,
Far distant thunder rumbled like a lullaby.
Rumbled like a timpani, rumbled like a train going sixty miles an hour.
Gust and gust slapped tumbleweeds against shingles.
Wind grabbed dirt, climbed the western horizon
Ravening the clouds.
Presaging storm, grit blasted cheeks and bare legs.
Mothers called children in.
Rain fell black.
Mud drops plopped on the fins of the red Impala.