It’s dry and there’s no denying it.

Bankers out here are graying at the temples and the elevator manager can’t quite get it all to pencil. Discs are parked, hooked to fueled-up tractors, lying in wait of lightning. Cigarettes. Flat trailer tires sparking. Fools.

Guys are talking like they’ll have to sell their cows if it doesn’t do something by the end of the month. There’s no grass and even though they’ve only fed a few bales, there won’t be any more.

Sure, the wheat is drilled but it’s storing just as well in the ground as it would have in the bin. I toss my little bucket of water on the poles just to try and keep the hot wire grounded.

Church on Sunday is opened with prayer…”and Lord, we need some moisture, please, we’ll take anything.” The pastor preaches and men look out the window to the south and squint to distinguish dust from smoke.

The glow to the west is the city but to the north, the south, the east it’s bad news and perfect cause for panic.

Most of the fires don’t make the news. They’re more tractors and road graders than fire helmets and fancy lights. It takes time to cut fence wire from wheels.

And the gal from the news station stands on a dirt road, in her sensible shoes, and wonders what all the fuss is. It’s just a little grass.