My husband calls
from his month-long trip to California
still nursing the anger
he left me holding like a small child
in the dwindling window of the airport
and hears from my side of the continent
the crack of thunder.
And yes, yes
that is what he misses most
about South Carolina.
Not the dust rising
in red puffs above the corn.
Not the lakes of carp and catfish
in their tentative dreams of flight.
But the way
when the land is long given up for dead
and farmers have disinherited the sky
for good this time
it breaks sudden and big as forgiveness.
They don't have that here, he says
as if he were speaking
of grits or Dixie Beer
or a woman
who would stand in a storm
holding the receiver to the sky.
© Cathy Smith Bowers, 1989, 1992.