After Midnight, Early May

Through clouds kept here
by persistent, wet weather
the sky is bright, scalloped
by a moon moved toward full.

Midnight has passed again and,
again, I step out and walk
my distance up the road.
Whippoorwills greet me.

And a night bird, small
of song, but as steady
as this light rain left
by the afternoon storms.

Tomorrow the creek will run
higher than it ran today
and seed oats will rest bagged
until the weather clears.

I could tell you the peepers
tell me this, but,
truth be told, they speak only
of the heron's beak.

They care nothing for creeks
or my heavy feet,
up and out again to wring
some sleep from this cool, wet air.

Karl Garson
South Dakota Review, Spring/Summer 2003