Cloud to Cloud

— Diane Moomey

North of Niagara and east, north
of the peach belt and the Great Water:
high summer storm light — the undersides of leaves
flash silver in the ground wind, that back-handed wind
that gusts now north, now west, startling
birch and aspen poplar. Crows
perch low and on the inside; rabbits
run to ground.


Wide lightning, pink lightning,
strokes along massed cumulonimbus, strobes fully half
this twilight sky — dry. Dry crackle, cloud-to-cloud,
never touching ground, this lightning —
the day long and restless,
sullen heat gathering in great chunks,
going nowhere — the dry crackle that cries for thunder.
Us waiting for the deluge, the drops that will settle the day’s dust,
the drenching gusts that will bring the cat mewling
to the door.

Back-porch waiting:
for that front to sweep north off Lake Ontario,
to wash clean the sidewalks and the Don Valley Parkway,
to carve rivers in the dirt
on the windows
of the last subway car of the day,
to come north, make soggy the putting greens
of the Bayview Country Club,
to douse us here, porching,
way up past Markham in the true country,
in the green belt that cradles Toronto in wide arms.

Us, waiting.

Dry and waiting, porching and holding hands
just holding hands; talking, just talking,
mind to mind, cloud to cloud,
our lightning never touching ground.
Waiting for our weather to move in,
to wet our skins, crack
our dry spell.

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