She could hear them, old voices in her head
keep the horses, machines will be the end of us –
not true, yet it was blade on stone that sparked,
wind like gasoline, flame away, behind her
and thankful for that or I’d not be here –
so she said to my father, not my father then,
a single man driving dust roads, fence lines,
checking maps, stands of wheat at bushels per acre,
with home office calls for the day’s set price.
That wind turned in the dark, she says, I heard it –
it could not burn what already it had burned…
Another woman made single by the war.
Her kitchen, my father not yet, black wheat
in his shoes. He sips a glass of water,
listens, this being the little he can do,
before he offers what’s allowed
for the one gold, spared field
they stare at out the open door.