The wind shifts south to tear at the land, and
stressed tufts of green sway and roll then hang limp.
Men look out, eyes narrowing and say it’s been drier,
that a shower will come to bring back life;
and the sky blackens, a boiling belt of black,
swollen with promise, and thunder booms
and the men look and run hands over chins:
this will be it, they say. It will rain.
Still the wind pulls at the ragged leaves and they flap
and fall, tired little roots prying the dusty soil for moisture.
Then it is gone, a retreating blackness
shot through with china-blue and the wind dies
and there is an awful calm, where men look at each other and nothing is said.
There is nothing to say, just sadness roaming the eyes