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the heat lightning 251
first twenty-four hours
4:00 p.m.
The enormous silver maples by the house:
their leaves are sleek and dark green
on the upper side, and a clear silver gray
underneath, and just now a strong wind
bringing thunderclouds struck suddenly
from the west as we watched and these trees
changed over from dark green to silver,
bending massively all at once, their own
agitated ghosts in the darkening air.
7:00 p.m.
On the side to the west, with the light
of the low sun striking squarely
on the fl at of the leaves,
the old cottonwood sparkles like a pond.
8:00 p.m.
Now Seeley's Lake, eight miles distant,
looks like a long slit, in the bluish gray
landscape, through which light is shining.
9:00 p.m.
The moon -- not long before going in
I saw it appearing low over the knob
on which the Arms boys' place stands,
the color of an orange; a little later,
stepping outside for something, I was startled
to see it refl ected in the thin bright strip