A southern breeze was born
far before the central Oklahoma horizon.
Darting across the prairies, bumping over the lakes
it grew in strength and unpredictability.
By the time it reached my four-room home
the wildness forced a path through our porch screen door,
under my bedroom window sill covered in cracking pale blue paint,
and around the corners of white vinyl siding
imprinted with tiny ridges.
Whooo-OOO bellowed the gales.
My four year-old eyebrows lifted, while my legs chased
the noise through my home’s center
and out the back door.
Practically falling down the back steps,
my chase ended as I saw the noisy blusters
take shape by lifting and expanding sheets hung on the
steadfast clothesline wire.
As the fully masted linens released the
grass-scented air with pops! at their hems,
I chased that wind until my scrawny legs gave way to fatigue.
The wind was older, stronger and faster.
Collapsing into the prairie grass-covered pasture,
I closed my eyes and listened.
The wind hadn’t gone after all.
Its infinity caresses passed over the tufts of Love grasses,
rattling the small dried seed pods.
Its fingers played with the wisps of my summer-colored hair
on my forehead and cheeks.
The folds of my ears created a new
whistle for the breeze to play,
to slide across, finishing with a high G-sharp.
The noise vibrated the membrane in my ear.
“I am here,” the whistle told me. “I’ll always be around.”
The wind became my friend that day
and when the occasional draft bursts across my face now,
I want to dance with it on the prairie,
accompanied by the percussive rattle of Love grass seed pods,
until I fall into the sweet pasture’s arms
because my legs have no more strength.