Northwestern Illinois In June


We want the rain
not the wind
my father would say
as we watched the big storms
born of Iowa afternoon heat
come across the Mississippi
only to turn north
into Wisconsin
showing us
their flash of heat lightning
like the lighted windows
of a train passing
behind the night
sky clearing
opening to stars
as we turned to go in
our footsteps
breaking the brittle grass
the leaves of the oak
turned white and upward
like a beggar holding forth
an empty cup