We drive past the numbered church where my Pawpaw’s body stays. It looks at me in our rearview mirror with its lonely row of pews and negligent air circulation. Existing to compete as a subtle reminder we’ve entered Jesus’ belt-line. Contained within the realm of blue haired ladies favorite pastime. We’re inside the Mason Dixon. Double shotgun in our Ford ­-- the truck’s presence blending with the sun's rise behind us. As if on rotation; we’re periodically peeled from our seats by the jolt of potholes. Potholes Dad swerves instinctively to miss. The faded yellow lines narrow the closer we get. Dad leans toward the steering wheel; taking hold of the tape that binds it with more conviction. The ends of his mustache graze it, as if this will bring him to the fields faster. Catching the farm’s scent before I see it. I take in the just cut grass. My awareness is heightened and time procrastinates a bit. Winds carry the cows to me in waves. Buzzards circle overhead to shake us. Our fields come in and out of view with each hill we top. Spotted cows playing buoys within a sea of hay bales. The pastures have turned greener; the heavy fog is lifting. The red bricked farmhouse worn by time and the memories it keeps. The flawless crescent moon etched forever on my brother's thigh. An unchanging reminder of his entanglement with the barbed wire fence. Red clay staking a permanent claim on her driveway. Vivid accents; thick and well drawn out. Our tires finally meeting gravel. Our cows demanding to be fed. Dad grows restless here, ­­belief inherited from a father who never met idle time. Wearing boots with purpose; and stained gloves for reasons. Plowing the fields and tending the soil with meaning. Exacting each blade of grass. Knowing the acres and the boundaries it holds. Hosing the gardens as if he can will the plots to grow. Harvesting the fields with intent, on the tractor once his fathers-­­picking up a presence that even the farm can sense. Swatting bumblebee's and turning muddy with my cousins. The day’s eager heat foretold by the cicada’s rhythm. Summer is here; a season no longer confused. The barnyard’s timber has faded by seasons from the sun’s endless wrath. A break for sweet tea; the day’s light running out. Pimento cheese, cheerwine, bread pudding, and cherries. Goose quills, spittoons, and my grandfather’s corn pipe. I’m a fly fisherman by day; cow tipper by night. The dream is played out; I’ve awakened; no farm. I’m the artist who’s chosen poverty over my buried dreams. Writing literature with purpose; not Harper Lee but driven. Continuously defined by the drawl I was given. Stealing my culture from the man I do not remember. Stealing my culture from the man I will claim forever. Traditions cherished and the farm that I covet. The farm that died when its owner was buried. The farm where my heritage is no longer carried.