The Dry Season

By Valerie Amicangioli (’25)

Sun hisses to dry blades of tall grass. Summer fire roars under streaks of lightning as thunder chases away hooves that bolt behind the flaming trees. Fire and floods, spotted cats watching, silent paws on sides of branches, amber eyes hunting. Nearby, a large-eared pack sticks together, tails wagging, then they disperse near a large boulder and meet up by the straw-like forest. The gazelle is torn apart. A family stays safe by the pool, their children playing. Watchful, they raise their trunks in a kind gaze. The rare water splashes and glistens in a single, peaceful clearing. Tiny ink blots on yellow fur are ready to hunt without their mother, for they are growing up. The cubs grow and outrun the storm in a blur of speed in the air, like smudged watercolor. Black and white stripes skid to a stop when the sun rises the next day, eagles and vultures fly by, revealing a hint of blue and grey. Long necks with elegant horns peer from their hiding spots, and the leopards grin contently at the drop of shining rain, the seed of a lush, green wilderness.

The pouring gemstones,  

At last, the scent of rain clouds,  

Here in the wild