Something Ancient, Then


Lightning flashed too close to count, not striking pitchforks
but wrinkled sheets making clouds
into lampshades of quivering electricity so near the hairs
on our hands lifted as if in cellular praise
near Kimball, Nebraska. Our ears wore the wind’s headphones–
we could not hear except for roar,
that low rumble that oceans hide in abalone shells and caves
pronounce the deeper one enters.
As we stood on the apex all senses strobed,
heard a low moaning
and when the sky lit the valley floor
saw paired a baby and mother buffalo.

By Jeff Burt