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Had been a shrewd evasion, or a quirk --
A man external, transient, and adept.
We dug and roofed a cellar, where I slept,
Put up a livestock shed and a corral,
Sank, inch by inch, my windmill-driven well;
I went in debt for housegoods, seed-grain, tools,
A milk-cow and a span of vicious mules.
My nearest neighbor helped me plow and plant.
I worked and had no time for puzzlement.
After the wheat was in and showing green,
We turned to build the house. We plumbed each line,
Raised stud and rafter, fastened sill and brace.
The days were slow, and huge with sun and space.
We had the shingles on by late July.
The wheat fl ashed heavy-headed, hissing, dry.
I wrote my wife the news. In the late fall
She and our child would come. The year would fi ll.
-- Yet I have said that I had come in doubt.
After the threshers left I found it out:
My wheat lay binned in silence; I would stare
And lean to hear the motion perished there.
My man had left. I learned the numbing pause,
The after-harvest, severed from its cause.
-- That autumn on the eastern slope was dry.
Thundery cumulonimbus, white-domed, high,
Rose from the mountains every afternoon,
Dropped lightning on the foothills, met the sun
Above the plains, lost shape and spread away.
The sun set shining at the end of day.
The air was warm by ten. The mountains hung
Disjunct from the low hills they lay along,
Like neither sky nor earth; unbroken, still,
The blue illusion always visible.