Hail stones pelt the leafy canopy of elms,
Foliage falls as if it were late September
but it’s July
and a thunder symphony
is playing overhead.

Pellets as big as dimes are bouncing
from the pavement. I once read
in The Guinness Book of World Records
that the largest hail balls ever seen
were six inches through the center.

They must have been hurled by Apollo
or some equally eminent discus thrower.
The ones dancing on my car roof
are mere children on a lark, no serious
damage here

except the sting on face and arms of fools
who would go out into the storm. Hearing
my mother’s voice in my ear admonishing,
cajoling, threatening, I quell the urge
to look over my shoulder

as I dash out the door to catch
those falling jewels in outstretched hands.
They are almost as grand as December’s
first snowflakes, these little adventurers
that brave the atmosphere to get here.

Caught within my grasp, a masterpiece
of art and endurance melts to nothingness.
I am reminded once again
                                it is a long journey
between Earth and Heaven.