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January 2018, vol 13 no 4

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Marilyn Fleming

Ever This

When you are a farmer, everything depends on the weather. The year of the locusts. The year of the tornado. The year of the flood. The year of disease. Even an early freeze or a late frost can destroy a crop. It’s always something. But it was the year of the drought that still sticks to my ribs. The way only dust trailed the hay rake. And the brown cornfields were stunted and parched. The oat fields look burned. With a drought comes the heat, day after day. Tears evaporate before they leave the eye. Sweat and chaff cause the skin to endlessly itch. Even the dog, tongue hanging out, slinks under the wagon for shade. And the creek, which provides water for the pastured livestock, is so dried up the cattle have to return to the barn to quench their thirst. But it was the winter months that left us hungry, with no roots in the cellar, no mason jars on the shelves, no corn in the cribs, no gunnies of oats, no hay, no straw bedding, silos empty, cold beds and no money for seed for spring planting.

winter’s grip
a taste of bark
in the venison

Note: haiku previously published – a Golden Haiku contest 2014 runner-up.