When the birds and bees die off because of chemical misuse, where will procreation be, who will make love? Only the Doomsday Clock will keep moving and gasping.

Every field is being stripped. Big Dude tractors, and grain hoppers the size of two car garages. Harvest is part of mid-America; it’s what we do; it’s how we feed the world.

A slow and steady rain follows two days of harder rain, chides us for cranking up our diesel tractors and ethanol plants here in corn country, and causes this climate shift which accounts for alien-warm Midwestern winters with too little snow and too much gray. We call these downpours toad-stranglers.

It’s here where thighs turn thick as oaks in an abandoned field, where the waist takes on a tractor’s tire, and where breasts grow a valley between sagging hills. We don’t kill ourselves anymore like Karen Carpenter did because we know we must live with our choices. One too many flavored coffees and we forget how we once loved the pain, would do anything for a compliment.  Now we find little shame in comforting ourselves in a weeping world where the only true love lingers along a crowded sky.

My gentleman farmer ages with the seasons. At fifty, the wear is evident. At sixty, a tractor becomes a ten-story building to scale. He wanted to climb Devil’s Tower once, but that was before his days ran together into a jumble of moments called Time.

See this mishmash of days, see it clear, this is life, this here and there. To forget to fight, to uncurl the fist, to close the lips, is not surrender. Peace comes to the quiet heart. And to pray upon the fertile land for an end to war is virtuous.


Chila Woychik


German-born Chila Woychik has bylines in journals such as Silk Road, Storm Cellar, and Soundings East, and was awarded the 2017 Loren Eiseley Creative Nonfiction Award (Red Savina Review) & the 2016 Linda Julian Creative Nonfiction Award (Emrys Foundation). She craves the beautiful and lyrical, and edits the Eastern Iowa Review.

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