(Chirstmas Day, 1917)THE FIVE O’CLOCK prairie sunset is a strong man going to sleep after a long day in a cornfield.

The red dust of a rusty crimson is fixed with two fingers of lavender. A hook of smoke, a woman’s nose in charcoal and … nothing.

The timberline turns in a cover of purple. A grain elevator humps a shoulder. One steel star whisks out a pointed fire. Moonlight comes on the stubble.

“Jesus in an Illinois barn early this morning, the baby Jesus … in flannels …”

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