Morning sat damp on the field. Bigman Boyle sunk kneesore. Breathed his will on sick dirt. Dug his fingers into it. Soil he’d nursed and turned. Olden time tilled by old fathers.

Lord, I beg your might, he said, his hands earthed far.

He rose and watched the hills. Peaks scarfed with mist. He cast a prayer there. From the cottage his wife called. He waved at her. The child beside her waved back. Bone kin on the doorstep.

Come in, she shouted.

They’d raze here, he knew. Black hearters. The bread bellied.

But not today arrive, he asked.