We moved his body to the rafters of the tack shed this morning.
His woman, his mate, his best friend,
will keep what is left of him alive as best she can.
She is listening for You and seeks solace
to staunch the hole in her breast that he left behind.
He was a good man, Lord.
His children are fine and true.
They listen well and have something to say.
Please listen to them.
That other hole, well Lord, we just cannot find
a way to conquer the winter ground.
I am sure You understand.
It has been biting cold, Lord.
Even now, back from church, the wind blows a dirge
and I can see tendrils of snow trailing from the eaves
like ghosts escaping a hard death.
The Henrys pulled out last September;
I hope they made it through.
Old Josh says he is gone come Spring.
He says we are all crazy and that wheat is just
too damn particular and vulnerable to Your whims.
The last time I spoke to You I was angry
and I want to apologize for that.
I guess, last Spring, I was lucky for soft earth.
Just between you and me, Lord, You know
that I have never much cared for You.
I reckon You know that and might be surprised
to be hearing from one so far astray,
but I just had to witness for Astrid, Tom and Ted,
and little Janey, who does not really know what has gone on.
It will be hard for them, as it was for me, but I reckon we can
all pitch in to help keep them alive and offer company.
Astrid is a proud woman and I hope You
can unbend her some for the children’s sake.
I need nothing from You, Lord,
but others do and I ache at your silence.
The Book says You hear all prayers and
I will be here every day asking.
Other than staying alive, it is all I can do.