The old man stared out at the night sky. He had not slept since the previous rains; he knew his next sleep would be his last sleep. He sat and watched, but no rain came. Did his watchfulness keep it away, though he hoped for its coming? Rain dances had not helped, prayers had not helped, even silver nitrate had not helped.
His grandson’s family would leave in the morning, seeking new land with water, hope, and opportunity — leaving the home of their family for generations. Tears welled in the old man’s eyes. Outside, drops fell.
Sleep came at last.