Thank you PP&P!
Background photo: USDA/Flickr, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark
Poppa snaps off a wheat stalk, brittle and broken. He digs the toe of his boot through the octagon clumps of topsoil looking for life below the surface, a shred of moisture, a supple root. The plant upends, clinging to the soil in a fruitless effort to stay alive.
“If it rains, we’ll be able to save this crop.”
My lips are always chapped, and the area around my eyes not covered by cloth are blistered and cracked by the relentless blast of grit. The cloth over my mouth cakes up faster than I can shake it out, but Momma says I have to wear it. More than anything I hate the crunch in my mouth. No amount of water seems to rinse it out.
Poppa squats and scoops up a handful of soil. It filters through his fingers as…
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