Sleepless, she waits for the autumn moon to top the eastern hedge row.
Only then does she begin to count, again, the half-ton hay bales below.
Like moon-rocks, they meld into drought-cratered surface of the farm’s best field.
The number of bales never grows, but she has to count them.
The pastures are gone, we will not sell, not yet, not now.
She sleeps, dreams of bulldozers, construction crews, the hedge row dying.
The city’s limits have no boundaries, the hedge row is old.
How long can it survive, how long can we?
She wakes before the sun comes up, looks at the sky, again.
Farmers live on hope, and sometimes, clouds.
— Gail Sloan