The sun rose like an irritated eye;
wives cooked rice pancakes; children went to play
at tag in dusty fields or caught frogs by
the bank of the Euphrates; while the men
took to the brick kilns, potters’ wheels, and plows;
lovers arose to make love once again;
and old men at the gate weighed claims and vows.
But now this afternoon, things have grown tense.
Anxiety as flour-fine as sand
from Aram fills our hearts as we watch dense
cloud ziggurats grow tall above the land,
and weather warnings in cuneiform
alert us of a coming thunderstorm.
Duane K. Caylor