Holy Shit

Joan Maloof

We were riding on a train through southern India. It was a long train ride, in a rustic compartment, with dust blowing in through the open window. We had been riding all night and now the sun was just beginning to come up. It was hot already, and the world had that orange glow of the first hour of what would be yet another hot, dry, dusty day. I could see the silhouettes of the men who had come out to the edge of their fields to watch over their crops. They were squatting in a row with their arms crossed over their knees – a very beautiful and meditative scene.

"Look Rick," I said softly, "they're watching their crops grow."

"Joan," he looked at me sideways, "they're not watching their crops grow.