Home Before the Rain

The great gray mass that rolls up the valley,
Flashing steeples along the riverbed

Lopping off buildings in clean mist and air
Sweeping through and dusting soft crops with ice

     will not whip up the mountain sides
     will hit the cliffs and stall,

Gathering energy from the water,
Taking life, up from the red, warm chimneys;

When it arrives, it will rise thundering
Replacing oxygen in cool backdraft

     reach and follow smoothly
     reach and exhale

It will still rise, towering the gardens
Arching skyward, blue circuit to its source

Surely will beat you, as it always does,
Writhing farther than you can run on air,

     air incarnate,
     air blind.