A Farm We Built- A Pack Of Smoke To Anyone You Can Correctly Name The object's Symbolism

June’s sun scorched the Carter family farm. The heat wrung out the life from crumbling soil beneath the callused finger tips of the last couple to claim sustenance from a western Missouri field. In the midst of a lingering plight, Jane let a weary moan form the words folded upon themselves inside her;
“Jackie, babe?” Desperation nearly hit her all but late husbands ears with what could have been a sweet sincerity in the months before. Expectation crowded his peace of mind.
‘Just let it go, just let it go for once’. Jack’s prayers faded to a place forgotten things lie, where he dreamed of resting before waking to another June.
“Jackie, babe?” she called again, without the energy to be annoyed at going unheeded.
“Yes, sweetheart?”, Jack answered lazily.
“You see all that field ahead us?”
“Sure thing Jane”
“If we keep us going fast as we can, we still wont have worked to the end of the property by the weeks end. Hell, it wont be much longer until the bank makes sure we see the end of it all real quick”
He knew the want in her. It was all he knew in his partner lately; the yearning to grow out of a debtors life. Although partnered in life, by life, by an indivisible force that held the farm together, he milked his own resistance
“And what is it you’d have me remedy that with?”
Jane hid the feeling of knowing the conversation to end as it had like times before and answered like it was new; as in the beginning of their quarrels.
“ Maybe we’d lay our heads down in that hut of ours sooner with help of a tractor. Not even one of those new ones I’ve seen going down the old road. Just a little something with a kick.”
“You know that’s not how my old man wanted the farm done when he built it.” He stated confidently.
“But Jack, we need it. At least take out a loan from the bank-”
“ Our bank knows damn well how we’d make due with that again.” He cut her off with. Provoked by the ice in the act and in his voice she bit back with fire.
“Then another bank! And that whole plot between us and the neighbors’ for sale could be ours. There’d still be enough to hire a few hands. Maybe then we might have something instead of being had.”
She wouldn’t have the ache of futility be put in her again. She’d seen her shadow stretched tall against the ground to many times to feel small. She’d seen herself grow thin in the mirror once to many times not to stand a little taller.
“ Jane, this is you and me here. Just us together working with our hands. Thats not being had. I work my land by my own hands, so that I can call it mine. I wont have anything that don’t have me in it… that I haven’t earned. Nobody can really own this ground we live on no more than they can own us, but we could make something of it like we do us if you could just lose yourself in it all. That’s what I have.”
“Not this time Jack“, she said solemnly, “We aren’t but what we can get from this dirt, and right now we’re nothing.”
“We’re nothing?” he asked, too awed by the thought to be offended by it. The years he’d invested in the farm were all lost in her words. He knew the way of the world to testify on her behalf.
“ Nothing.” Jane affirmed. With that last word he circled where he stood and looked up to the sky for a new storm to take the place of the one in front of him; the storm coming from the woman he called shelter. Jane turned and continued to work the field in healing. Jack half heartedly followed suit till the sun eased out of sight. That night they took the day with them to their small home. Without a word the day lit their home all through the night.
Silently they rose each morning, and so they worked the field. Jane knowing nothing of her own power over Jack resigned to the expansive mass beneath her feet. She could see in every direction as far as there was. The sun left nothing untouched. In that emptiness she wouldn’t know one inch of dust around her from another if not for her husband steadily working beside her. Any location is as the last when alone. Progression is only as relative as that of the opinion in another’s. For three days the two worked alone together. The connection severed by their clash intensified by the nothingness in their sight. Only a bird seeking shade broke the silence in those days. After three days of the sun tanning their thin skin like leather Jack approached Jane in the beginnings of a cool evening. He took a few quick steps after her, then dirty and dust bathed he called her name.
“Jane?” She spun around slowing her pace.
“ Yeah Jackie?” The hope in her voice was her own. All things were more taxing than when the weight would rest on two pairs of shoulders.
“I know that this place hasn’t given you what you thought it could.”
“ Maybe not”, she agreed reluctantly, “ but I’ll put myself in it for you. I can dig through this ground for years if I have to. We can, right”
“Not we, at least not here Jane.”
“What does that mean…?”
A smile started to shine on him as he pulled out a paper from his back pocket.
“ Well, I don’t really get the fine print, but I believe this right here says that neighboring field is yours.” She took it from his hands wide eyed and confused.
“Jack! How?
“I made my way to the bank the other day.”
“No, how am I supposed to leave this place. I can‘t leave the farm, I cant leave you.”
“ You don’t have to, but you can do you like you need. I can take care of the rest in the mean time. You’ll have yours, and I’ll have mine, but together we’ll still have our farm just like always.” She took another step closer, put her arms around him, and laughed in relief. They walked to the house knowing they’d soon brave changes and the hells of starting something new, but they knew without doubt that they would be waking up like they had for years and all the years ahead of them; next to what most anyone else only spent their days looking for in the light of June.
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26-30
May 20, 2012