Up long before the sun getting ready for the day, she takes care of her husband’s and children’s hot breakfast and lunches for work and school. Soon the school bus’s dust trail would drift down their road, and she’d reach out to touch the weather-roughened skin of her husband’s cheek.
Stealing this one short moment each morning, prayers rise up from deep inside and silently escape with her breath as the sun crests the tree tops. Bracing for whatever this day plans to put in her path; knowing it will move them farther to ruin, to losing this land she’s loved every day of her life, still words of thanksgiving climb. She clamps her thin lips against those words, feeling the tight bun pull against the flexed muscles in her neck and chin.
Brittle and stiff as the grasses, so long denied moisture, she knows one of these days, it will break her. But, for now, she cannot help noticing the brightening sky sliding into her vision and the shafts of sunlight playing across the waves of the now golden grasses and easing the dark of the surrounding forest.