It was just some cumulo-nimbus blown upcountry — a brash rattling of brown leaves. The town stood sentinel as dusk scuttled the last light and we, each of us, turned back inside. Doors apocopated, the thunder presaged, cozened by stacks of cut wood under eaves, warm orange light sealed in windows. Of each home the storm broke them all. At dawn we gathered by the church and counted ourselves breakfasted on toast tasting of kerosene and butter and got to work. Listened as the wind sieved through our knotted bundle of broken reeds for that first bone-haunted loon cry.