Busy morning At The Farm & Ranch Building Supply

The payloader aims corrugated steel at the rear of my Valare and misses my wheel by an inch. The carpenters load wooden feed bunks on flat-bed trucks, restrain them in straitjacket cinch, and hang red flags on the end like pothole warnings or beware-of-mean-dog signs. Like cooks breaking long spaghetti into a pot, saws whine in the steel shed slicing four-by- fours into precise lengths for toe-tapping customers. Men in red sweat shirts run up and down steps, in and out of the office, like gerbils in a cage fitted with exercise wheels, and put bolts in trunks of Chevys and planks and wire netting in Ford pickup boxes. My husband vanished into the office an hour ago to ask the price of steel siding. The sun grows hot enough for mischief and microwaves my arm through the car window while I wait, a prisoner in this man's world, envious of the surprise train whistling tornado sirens as it earthquakes by on the track beside me, much too shrewd to get involved with a busy morning at the Farm & Ranch Building Supply.

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