If dreams were thunder
Lightning was desire
This old house would have burned down
A long time ago
Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold onto
To believe in this living
Is just a hard way to go
--Bonnie Raitt, Angel From Montgomery
The old woman turned up the fire under her kettle of tea.
Outside the screen door, she yawned at the summer heat buzzing with cicadas over the hazy fields. She hated how much easier it was to sleep during the day. The porch roof sagged on posts carved by too many hands of children. She rocked on the weathered floorboards.
In the heat-buttered distance, a man sledge hammered a fence post. Sun glinted off his sweat and bare skin.
Muscles swung. The smack hit her ears a second out of time.
She crossed her legs.
And squinted through the circling bees.
Damn fine specimen, that young man.
She grinned, forgetting for a moment how tired she was. She knew what it would be like to saunter over there. Head cocked as she commented on the blazing day. The coy smile on her face. Touching the dress over her slim, young legs.
She'd touch the fence. Soft. Like she would touch his chest before she kissed him. And he'd pretend to be strong even when she held him in the palm of her hand. She would let him. So much better to play.
Inside, steam puffed on stove.
She blinked. It whipped up a long, wailing cry.
Her delicious smiled faded, and she dragged herself from the chair.
Shuffling into the kitchen with the flies, she grimaced at the pain in her legs.
And turned down the fire under her kettle of tea.