Doppler Farms

by Todd Mercer

They dance to make rain, seed clouds with silver iodide. They pray
over cracks in the field, summon up a freelance climatologist,
but saturated air won’t condense to drops to save the crops. The loan looms
like a scythe overhanging the end of October. They skirt the sharp edge of it,
kick up dust that was topsoil. Before. Water—they pack it by buckets
from the well-head to mist the crop rows. The brute labor,
his and hers, passes days quickly, but the drought holds on.
The green-screened TV rain-man lacks answers. He’s primed
to evaporate, dissolve into the atmosphere, where farmers
can’t find him. Like them he’s losing precious sweat
at the mercy of the Fates, the Guy Upstairs,
and the Southern Oscillation.

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