It was my mother’s great uncle on her mother’s side, patiently waiting there just outside the screen door for perhaps the last time, the straw hat with the soiled band crumpled in his hand, there with the gaunt exterior of a black-and-white Walker Evans’ Depression Era photograph, his skin wrinkled and parchment-thin, his voice like an echo in a dry well, his singular tale that of lean times and crop failure, of winds blowing the very land away, leaving only parched lips, only the vacant gaze.
not a drop of rain
since the hired hand came—
a faraway freight
First published in Simply Haiku V6, N4 (2008)