Mar/Apr 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 2 Nature’s Nature |

Squall

Today the sun rained down on us for hours before rain shone silver down into the already muddy ground. Each day a squall chases us indoors & sends the dogs beneath the house or dry-docked cars for shelter. Tomorrow the mutts will devour my grandmother’s birthday flowers —  for now, under thunder they cower. My young son’s excited by every boom —  says Wow & claps along as we watch the monsoon from Mama Annie’s tiny, tidy rooms. We fill & flood over —  without thought, we draw closer, like the river. All morning light drowns our hatless heads till at noon rain dances down & we try to beat it out of town. Pack the car & gun it to outstrip the storm now all around — the radio struck silent & our son. Right after we pass a pickup with mattresses —  not lying down or tied but raised upright, paired in prayer — the beds begin to applaud, to clap together then fly into the road now in rear-view. Headlights following th

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Kevin Young is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems, 1995–2015. His Book of Hours was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Prize; his book The Grey Album won the PEN Open Award, the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism. This essay has been adapted from Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, longlisted for the National Book Award.

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