Awaiting Rain in the Early Evening

Yesterday while stopped for a red light I glanced up at the sky. The setting sun shone from behind passing clouds. Spokes of sun framed the largest cloud, like a Russian icon. The stoplight changed and I drove on, only to pull off the road moments later. Bumping down an unpaved sidestreet, I chased clouds the color of pewter and tarnished silver.

The trees cleared and I stopped the car. For long moments I watched. The distant sky still a deep blue. In the foreground, a series of pale puffs formed a stately procession, emerging from the trees, marching across the horizon as majestically as elephants, and disappearing behind the skeletons of houses-to-come.

In the middle distance, two clouds linked arms and embraced. In each, a small opening through which poured burnished bronze, ruddy with the day’s last glow . As they pulled apart, the small opening elongated, narrowed, and, finally, became two.

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