West of Topeka

Ominous black clouds
gather, splash a licorice
tint against the afternoon
sky, hours after a landscape
artist daubed earthtones
from her wooden palette.
Locals instinctively know

the fast moving storm
could spawn funnel clouds,
its moisture flooding
parched fields while jagged
arrows illuminate this
interlude of nightfall,
two hours after lunch.

Cottonwoods sway,
limbs frantically brushing
the second-story
farmhouse windows.
I sit this one out at a truck
stop thirty-five miles
from the Salina city limits.

Dr. Jim Brosnan is the author of Nameless Roads (2019). His poems have appeared in the Aurorean (US), Crossways Literary Magazine (Ireland), Eunoia Review (Singapore), Nine Muses Poetry (Wales,) Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts (India), Scarlet Leaf Review (Canada), The Strand Magazine (India), and Voices of the Poppies (United Kingdom). He holds the rank of full professor at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, and has just been awarded a faculty fellowship to complete his second collection, Driving Long Distance.

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