Prairie Summer by Howard F. Stein

Leaving by Sky Black

Prairie Summer

by Howard F. Stein

Whoever hopes
for a moderate summer
is a dreamer or a fool.
The hard-bitten soul
looks for a place to hide
these four months,
or acquires a parched face
to match a parched earth.
A local thunderstorm,
as brief as it is rare,
restores prairie grass
from brown to green
for only the quickest eye.
A dozen cattle
huddle in the shade
of a lone tree.
Above them all,
the sovereign sun
rules over a land
that can only submit –
and try to outlast
the monarch’s heavy yoke.


Howard F. Stein, a medical, applied, psychoanalytic, and organizational anthropologist, and organizational consultant, is professor emeritus (that is, old 🙂 in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. He is currently group process facilitator in the American Indian Diabetes Prevention Center, Oklahoma City. He has published over 200 articles and 27 books, of which 7 are books or chapbooks of poetry. His two most recent poetry books are In the Shadow of Asclepius: Poems from American Medicine (2011) and Raisins and Almonds (2014).