192. Section III, Spring 1935: February 1935

The nape of her neck bristled.
The air teased.

Along her ams,
Hair stiffened like antennae
In the static, the dry breeze.
She swept the porch.
Winter had its winds,
But seldom stormed:
The sun was clearer, and
The air. Now something
Stirred around her. She
Turned, unwilling,
To the western sky.

Riah frowned.
A smudge on the horizon.
Sprawling, rolling,
Smoky, boiling slow.
Rising.
“Oh no,” she said aloud,
Thrown off  balance
By resentment
And surprise:
Another spring?
Had it been all these
Months? And had they
Gone that long, and
Seen no rain?
Now February,
And the wind was tugging…
“Not again.”

“Well, of course,
Again!”
Perched on the top step,
Louise spoke.
With elbows on her knees, she
Gnawed beef jerky, sucking
At the salty dark strip
Through her teeth.
Hooking Riah’s leg,
She said, “Take half–
Don’t eat enough
To keep a bird alive.”

But Riah looked away.
Louise shrugged, went
Back to it herself.
The coming
Storm, she dismissed
With a haughty wave.
“Name of the game,
My pretty:
Again, and
Again, and
Again.”

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