he drives his combine through the grain
cutting down the pale stalks he had grown

the second Brahms Piano Concerto plays 
through the cab speakers
and through his heart

this year, he prays–
with all his might–
this year
will be different

the price will stop dropping
he will not lose money
this year
his wife will be able
to remodel the kitchen

if not,
he has decided
he is done

not just with farming



he has decided
he will walk
to the south forty
where Dusty,
his beloved work horse,
lies buried–
near the sycamore trees

there, he will stay
his revolver fallen
to his side–
one cartridge

the grain can grow tall
then fall
back into the earth

the Brahms will sound its last chord

Myrtle can take the insurance money
remodel that kitchen and
to forgive him