by Robert Hass
For several weeks the weather has been mild
And we have wallowed in this picnic sun,
(Our baskets stuffed with bread and wine) beguiled
By a string of buttered days, which one by one
Have lulled us into such complacency
That any thought of rain or want or cold
Would seem killjoy to a mind disposed to see
A clump of daisies nodding by the road.
But lightning flash upon the ridge portends
A sudden change of weather is at hand.
Caught unaware, we face the rising wind
And count the interval before the sound
Of thunderclap announces the return
Of darker times we had soon forgotten.
The dog cowers. The weather vane turns
Wildly, and we scramble forth to batten
Down the shutters banging out their warning.
No use pretending storm clouds won't draw near.
They're certain now. The anvil head is mounting
High above the things we've held so dear.
We light the lantern as clouds obscure the sun,
And gather frightened children in our arms.
The lightning flash and thunder merge at one,
And we hunker down beneath the raging storm.