The Rural Chronicles: Love
Photo by Paula Schultz,


I’ve been traveling through time and space for over thirty years with my farmer. His mass is larger than mine, his stature taller, his outlook variable: a weathervane of DNA, an admixture of wrong turns in early mitosis, extra x-es flung about like stars across a black and empty sky on creation morning.


He’s anachronous in all but engineering concepts and theological orthodoxy. He’s the smile of Mayberry’s Sheriff Taylor, the ideals of Father Knows Best, and the wry humor of his rural upbringing. He exhibits the human disconnect of someone with his medical condition, and the utter charm and creativity of a Norman Rockwell favorite brushed by Dali. 

What is this thing we call our rural love? Is it a soft breeze skirting endless hills, or bald eagles fishing through the frozen Cedar River? Is it you melting into me slowly slowly beneath a Hunter’s Moon slung shallow? Or trusting beyond common sense when there’s barely a reason to doubt? We count our years by the strength in our hope, and if we crest before midnight, it’ll have been another perfect day.

Once burdened with corporate starched shirts and matching ties, he’s now content with the same pair of jeans worn a week at a time, day after long day. (I don’t even ask about his underwear anymore.) After three decades, I no longer need to explain away my tendency for perfection, his for repose. Two warm and faithful bodies bridge any gulf between.

Who will fold themselves within your sheets, lose themselves in your embrace? Who will stroke your graying head as time slips through these rifts and wrinkles? Let’s accept the long-gone hours, salve the wounds and bare the breast. I’m forgetting how it hurt, have forgotten how to leave, and can’t remember what it was that brought us to this place of gentle yes-yes.

The rhythm slow and fresh, like ocean glass hot, melted, poured – a caramel of desire. My farmer is a pioneer with dirt beneath his nails. His doe-soft eyes, his tired frame, the lips so thick and luscious. We’ll talk of how we made it here, and speak our common tongue. We’ll find a way through every slip, and when we fall, we’ll fall together, alive and ticking steady.


Chila Woychik is originally from the beautiful land of Bavaria. She has been published in CimarronPassages North, and others, and has an essay collection, Singing the Land: A Rural Chronology (Shanti Arts, 2020). She won Storm Cellar's 2019 Flash Majeure Contest, Emry's 2016 Linda Julian Creative Nonfiction Award, and double-finaled in the 2019 Barry Lopez Creative Nonfiction Contest. These days she tends sheep, chickens, and two aging barn cats, and roams the Iowan outback. She also edits the Eastern Iowa 

10 Comments on “The Rural Chronicles: Love

  1. My 91 year old father died with the Iowa farm dirt under his fingernails and was proud of the fact that he could contribute to the economy of the state as well as the nation, not just as a farmer but as a veteran and a strong community leader. Love the gentle men who make this country strong.

  2. This is a perfect example of how much Chila feels and lives the rural way. The depth of her emotional attachment is so beautiful and alluring that she pulls us into the story.

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