No Matter

Rain began in the predawn

until by midmorning county trucks

block flooded highways and police

patrol railroad crossings where

signal arms rise and fall with

every roll of thunder


flood warnings are out for even the big river

and stock huddles while lightning slices

sky and gray water swirls around roots

of daylilies drowning in the ditch

newly planted fields pool with rain

we want to stop but it won’t stop as


forecasts predict far more in the wake of

yesterday’s tornado that destroyed

the south wing of the Lutheran church

felling headstones from their mountings

in the Civil War churchyard


umbrellas drip in the mud room as rain

tattoos the roof, streaks windows

and then between drops a bright slash

of scarlet borne on blurring wings as

the first Ruby-throated hummingbird

returns to the feeder locked into memory

and suddenly rain loses its ability

to frighten no matter if it stops or not.