When we were kidsmy cousin and I dreamed our futuresfrom forts we built in haystacks.
We agreed paradise waited for us in Montana.We decided we would get a ranch together,ride around on horses all dayand do the work we wanted to do.At night we’d go to town to dance with our girlfriends,and they’d stay girlfriends, you bet,cuz no way we were going to get married.
And looking up past the strawwe’d see nothing but bright blue sky,big sky, Montana sky.The world seemed easy then,all you had to do was travel to where your dreams were waiting.
Something happened as we grew older,and Montana wasn’t it.
We laugh about those dreams now,and our talk is different when it’s just him and me and a few beers.We grew up and grew apart,we don’t have the little daily stuff in common anymore,so there’s more silence than words,but we are comfortable with it,our kinship is deeper.We sip our beers, and again, gaze into that distance.
My cousin flexes his hands and curses them.My hands hurt all the time.I don’t know bow long I can keep working there.
He works at the meat-packing plant,hard work in cold air,one of the few places in this small town to work.He’s married, has a house,there’s nowhere else to go.
My hands hurt all the time.It’s all he has to say.Somebody built square houses where the haystacks were
is out of reach anyway.