She comes to my bed that very night. I am awake, I've been awake for hours, consternated over the day's events. I'm lucky to be alive. I may be a casualty tomorrow. I lift the covers as an invitation. She scrambles in, naked. There is a moment of silence, a moment of quiet before we are absorbed in each other. I am anxious to end the curiosity, the curiosity of what lies beneath that gunnysack dress. Her body is intoxicating, more than I can wish for. I mount her quickly, entralled by her damp heat. I cling to her frame, the balm for a broken spirit, the salve for a wounded heart, the only solace in this cruel and savage war. I feel her fingernails dig into my back, I feel the harmonization of her hips, I feel her reciprocity in our reckless abandonment of temperance. Then, in the serenity of the afterglow, her head on my chest, I speak softly of Featherstone Prairie, although she understands not a word. I sing to her, maybe to myself. I'm not a particularly good singer, I can carry a tune. When I finish, she slips away in the murky dawn's light and again I'm alone. I move to her spot in the bed, luxuriate in the warmth that remains and once was her's.
I awake and the sun is high. I hear a faint voice, a faint voice in song. I make my way to the veranda, the veranda I love for its tranquility. "I'll be darned," I say to myself, for she is singing, singing in the garden. I have never heard her sing before. Have I broken her dour demeanor? I do not understand the lyrics and the melody does not sound happy, more melancholy than not, but her voice is pleasing, in tone and deportment. She comes my way, smiles. I have never seen her smile before. Her smile kindles my spirit.