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 moves methodically 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.