The dog naps on the cool dirt floor.
A fly on a silver hay hook.
His shirt still ringed with sweat,
his breathing heavy, a hired hand
among well-stacked bales of hay,
remembering mountains and rivers.
There will be no storm tomorrow
or the next day. No dew
on the crops come morning.
No catkins on the willows
down along the creek bed.
In the silence and indifference
of this unforgiving moment,
he begins to whet the scythe,
runs a calloused thumb
the length of its curving blade,
and hangs it back on the wall
on the south side of the barn.