The night is warm, but the wind is cool. I stand in the centre of a field of summerfallow. Above me, the stars glint and shimmer. Below me, the earth is solid and warm. The soil in the fallow rows is loose and soft as my sandals sink down into it. The soil covers the tops of my feet.
Across the field, far out into the darkness, I hear a coyote yip. It is answered by another, further off away from the river. They sing back and forth, and their song is solitary, even though there are two…solitary and mournful. Their song is a song to the changing face of the moon; they wonder why their grandmother’s face is covered by a veil, but she cannot answer them tonight for she is watching the sea.
Sometimes, this comforts me, this darkness, these stars, this moon, the coyotes, the earth, and the wind. Tonight, I reach for my grandmother’s wisdom. I reach out my fingers, and try to touch her strength. My fingers play lightly through the heavy air, but her strength is not there. I say to my mother, who hears everything now, “Please. Please, I need you now.”
My voice rolls over and over across the field.
This is where you have left me, my heart full of dust, my ribs dry stalks of wheat. I don’t know why I remain standing, why I do not topple to the warm soil, my fingers becoming the earth for next year’s crop. But I do not. Something keeps me standing.
I hear your voice, as if through molasses. Your words are sharp, abrupt. You judge me. I falter. You judge me. I wither. You judge me. I fall.
Grandmother moon glances down.
Where do I go from here?