by Katherine Gotthardt In withering arms of darkness, dew trying to pass for rainwater, beaten terrain attempts to rise, shake off exhaustion of overwork, murmurs, “never enough.” Scraggly stalks holding their breath – they wait for the massage of soil, clumps of barren dirt separated by bony fingers pulling the last weeds of the season. This is how fields affirm the day, tucking their last hopes beneath visible ribs. This is how nature ruminates. And then begins the questioning: Who knew it would become so hard? Who knew Earth’s hot temper would flare in the face of their virility, science and charity shunning them, abandoning them to the rough hands of not knowing? The world does not extend far enough, and so, in the shadow of waning grain, they whisper prayers in the ancient language: May nothing now be wasted. May everything planted thrive. May food appear as it used to when they were young as morning, growing alongside miracles, believing all would survive.