"We need more substantial dirt,"
he says and lifts a clod of earth
turning it to dust between his fingers.
It blows away in the breeze.
Each step we take through the field
small clouds of dusty earth
recoil from the contact of our feet.
"You see that house over there?"
He points left to an empty field.
"No," I reply after a long pause.
"'Cause it isn't there," he says,
triumphantly pointing to the house,
paint peeling and grimy windows,
sitting alone on the right.
"Drifted all the way over there."
He's still pointing excitedly.
"Nothing stays planted round here."
"You see my two sons over there?"
"No," I sigh, "I don't, and I..."
"Four years in a row the crops blew away
in that direction, towards the city."
"That fourth year, my sons,
they drifted off towards the city too."
The breeze carries a small wave of dust
over, past our feet and away.
"Nope. Nothing sticks round here."
Matthew Dorrell knows nothing about Ice Hockey.