not quite late summer but
premonitory chill
in the thick of tree shade

the prairie remaining
under the banner of
an expected sun heat

faint threat in the chill
that its growth may invite
human melodrama

austerity yielding
to yells and tears even
a knife and covert blood

not quite late summer now
the line yet to be crossed
nature owning its own

© Rodney Nelson 2020

Rodney Nelson’s work began appearing in mainstream journals long ago. See his page in the P&W directory: He has lived in various parts of the American West, working as a licensed psychiatric technician and copy editor, and now resides in his native northern Great Plains. Recently published chapbook and book titles are MetacowboyMogollon PicnicHill of Better SleepFelton PrairieIn WaitCross Point RoadLate & LaterThe Western WideBilly BoyAhead of EveningWinter in FargoHjemkomstCanyon, Time Tacit, Minded Places, Invictus, and Kawabata’s Lake.