“ForthelovaGod, Micky” Eunice said from the crack in the door, “You’ll catch your death.”
Mike heard her but did not turn. It was raining. Not just a high skirted wisp of clouds trailing across the sky with more promise than water, but a full throttle, fine spray, all day rain. He stood in it. He had taken off his shirt, and now he kicked off his boots and dropped his Levis and underwear and stepped out of them. He wanted nothing between himself and the soft fall of water on his farm. He raised his arms in thanks but said nothing. What was there to speak to that would hear?
“O, fortheloveaGod, Micky” Eunice said. “You lost your mind?”
Mike stood in the rain and felt its soft touch on his face, his skin.
One hundred and eleven days with no more moisture than it took for a sponge bath. One hundred and eleven days with corn shriveling, the alfalfa nothing but dust. One hundred and eleven days and the cows nothing but bones and bawl, dying like dying was what they were born to.
One hundred and eleven days and what else could a good man do. He let himself down and lay, naked, on the newly wet dust his face turned to the fall of rain.
“Jesus,” Eunice said.
Mike felt the earth feeding its thirst around him. The farm was done, but it was raining. A man took what he was offered. He took it whether it came late or early.