Do these Midwest hours render you speechless? Is it their sameness, their gradual changes, and then the terrible suddenness all of it must yield—a storm with no warning, a wreck in the field? This is the time of life for it, midway through. It is summer. There is the grinding away of work, the need to produce even on days labeled “free.” Let’s go to a coast, we think, imagining that this middle is to blame. Dry heat, hot wind, empty landscape. Its middling ways are tiresome. Do as we must, must as we do. On hot days and cold, runners and cyclists up and down the street, crashes in the intersection, bass thumping or thunder sounding from the next county over. The atmosphere does not affect the animals until they drop dead or stop growing limbs rightly. Sometimes there is nothing here and we are bored and sometimes we merely lack inner resources, as they say. Sometimes we are afraid, sometimes they are afraid. When rendered speechless do you attach slogans to your shoulder bag or car or t-shirt? Sometimes they are afraid, sometimes we are. Of the sameness, the gradual changes, the terrible suddenness we must yield and bear alone. We sit on porches, we look out windows. We go running toward the sound of the crash.