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Oct 2016
judicious July, two inches,
auspicious August, three; September sunk to half
an inch, but leaped to record heat for the month

October first, he was at the bank,
hat in hand and pride somewhere deep inside,
after he swallowed it two droughts ago

the banker would know, this time
he would not bother to ask--the reaping now
would be from blood, not soil

the blood of his ancestors
who fed a nation, anonymous plodders who plowed
the sod where they were now buried

he was the last; he would have to move fast
to get dollars for his dirt, before the loans came due,
before the wife, the children knew

they would soon be town dwellers--that October
would be the month "Farm For Sale" signs would hang from
his fences like mocking scoreboards

and the month he would feel like
he had drowned in drought, leaving no doubt
he had failed his father, and his sons
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