thunderstorm

An early-morning storm rumbles off to the north. Flashes of scarlet: tanager at the woods’ edge, ruby-throated hummingbird at the beebalm.

Could that be thunder? The sun struggles to shine. On the flattened grass where snow sat until yesterday, a scatter of black walnut husks.

The yark, yark of ravens skimming the trees, the low cloud ceiling just above. Crushing humidity. Vegetation still drips from a dawn storm.

Distant thunder. A black ichneumon wasp walks circles on the porch floor, its wings flickering jerkily like images in a silent film.

Wind from a distant storm blows the leaves backwards. In lieu of thunder, a downy woodpecker’s fast rattle on a hollow limb.

Cloud-to-cloud lightning, thunder like a cloth being torn. Downpour. We’ll remember 2011 for years: “That was the autumn of the mosquitoes.”