For Ed Elderman
When they take the winter wheat at home all the other crops are green. In granaries and tight truck boxes farm boys are slow scoop-shovel metronomes singing harvest deep in the grain. The old men come out to watch, squat in the stubble, break a lump of dirt and look at it on their hands, and mumbling kernels of the sweet hard durum, they think how it survived the frozen ground unwinding at last to this perfect bread of their mouths. Where they call it the Red River Valley of the North there are no mountains, the floor is wide as a glacial lake--Agassiz, the fields go steady to the horizon, sunflower, potato, summerfallow, corn, and so flat that a shallow ditch can make tractor drivers think of Columbus and the edge.