Harvest was ending. The combine was making its swathe through the field, going nearly in circles as the uncut area diminished to nothing, the thirsty machine finally slaking its terrible thirst. It had been typical harvest in many ways, the machine failures, the grease guns, the heat and wind. Untypical in that the golden river had come in with no hail, mosaic, weed, or drought to bemoan. It was a generous harvest, a generous universe. The sun as it neared the horizon seemed to say as to a child, “You were tested. You passed.”
We left the combine in the field and headed home, sitting in the back of the pickup drinking beer as fast as we could, singing as loud as we could a Hausa “Sanctus” that Rita taught us. Mai tsarki, mai tsarki. We were a parade of one going down Main Street, we were a float! transversing the not-quite-yet ghost town, though its dead outnumber its quick by a factor of 3.
There were cars in town; something happening in the block-square park across the street from where The Grand Army of the Republic Hall once stood (before my time.)
“It’s the fourth of July,” one of my sisters said.
Oh yeah, it was.