Dust coats the country air as we drive a red dirt road.
First we must get out and move that tree branch
that has fallen across the way so we can get by.
If the creek is up, we might need a push
from one of the neighbors to get on through it.
Bird dogs roam all day long, watched by the older ones who
sit at the end of the driveway and bark if you come near.
There goes a Roadrunner with a snake hanging from her beak,
snatched up as it lay soaking in the sun.
Wave at the tractor that is puttering along the side—
it’s probably someone we know.
Ask him to tell Ethel Faye her chickens are out by the road.
Everywhere are prairies full of alfalfa blowing in the wind,
tractors cutting winters hay for the cattle it will warm and feed,
and combines harvesting grain that will become food for thousands of people.
Proprietors manage vegetable gardens that will feed themselves and the neighbors
and anyone else who knows someone who knows someone.
Just past the pond on the left you will see a homemade sign that says
fresh eggs, tomatoes, and okra and that is where we will stop.