Each section is based on the Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the day from July, 2021.
I. hen scratch, n.
An omen, they say, crawling across the sky. Hard rain, thunder, lightning will scar our cropland.
II. baksheesh, n., adj., and adv.
To stop the storm, we offer a loaf of bread wrapped in a ceremonial woolen cloth buried beneath an ancient cedar’s roots.
III. zinger, n.
“You actually believe in the burying bread thing?!” my son laughs. “You might as well ask them to make Monday follow Tuesday!” He shakes his head. I sigh. “You’ll understand when the rain calms and the clouds burn away.”
IV. noctambulist, n.
Moon walks behind the layer of blue-black clouds — a bruise across the sky. Stars appear, sprout rays toward the moon, which set clouds ablaze — a sheet of pale flame.
V. astrogator, n.
I point at the clear morning sky…
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