Not far from here, wet-haired calves
wake beside their mothers, bellies dry
where they’ve warmed the earth
and they will nurse before the bunch
grazes the tops of ridges, damp clay
hillsides soft between their toes.
We didn’t ask for much more
than a heavy dew after a month of dry
to keep the grass alive, didn’t beg
or pray or dance before our gods—
but waited stoically as dead-standing
oaks reflected in our eyes.
Old children with hardened hides,
we have been disciplined by years
of drought and disappointment,
we wait and weigh our options
with rain enough to last a week—
hope enough to last a lifetime.