before the grapevine / pray for rain
For Kamilah Okafor
You write a story, and you start at the end—The daughter walks the horse through the vines and the freeway until a clatter of bells tells her she’s home. Her mother keeps a mechanical horse in the city, and every winter, her mother makes the trip out to feed them. One year her mother asks her to take her place. The clouds had frozen their grain buckets, but the horse ate away, and for the first time, the daughter knows what makes the sound of rain at night.