It was blowin' a hot wind from the east, An' off to the west was buildin' a terrible beast. Rough gray clouds were balanced on walls of purple and green. In the middle it was black, boilin' an' mean.
It shouldn't be near dark yet, As it was a ways till sunset. Still the day was getting' mighty gray, And he knew darkness was not far away.
He was pushin' the heifers hard, Humpin' to get 'em in the barn yard, Knowing for sure he would have trouble with heifers tryin' to calve.
As he was comin' over the last low hill, The wind became deathly still. He stopped an' undid his slicker, Better now while it's easier an' quicker.
The wind returned, not from the east, But out of the black, ugly beast. It came with a vicious howl, Thunderin' ceased to be a long, low growl.
She was bangin' an' comin' down in a terrifyin' crack, Lightnin' was not a flash, it was constant, without any slack. Rain was fallin' in sheets driven by the wind, Seemed this storm would never end.
When the wind switched an' lightnin' began to crack, His wife knew he should've been back. She'd never gotten used to the fear of these spring storms that come every year.
As the storm and the night wore on, She held tight to her first born. He was eleven, still a boy, not yet a man, But, like his father, he was of this land.
They'd all been through a lot together, Including storms an' bad weather. She hoped, that after all, The worst would be a bad fall.
The storm moved on by, An' as first light came to the sky, She an' the boy saddled up an' headed out. Signs of spring an' new life were all about.
In a mile or so the heifers were found a grazin', Some had calves, others were jast a lazin'. One new mom was givin' hers a good lickin', Soon he would be buckin' an' kickin'.
As mother an' son went their way, She looked at her first born unable to say; Like a flash of lightnin' in her mind, She knew what they would find.
There he lay right where he had died, Horse an' man side by side. A sad reminder, no matter the urgency, In a storm never be; The tallest of the bare prairie.