I’m traveling at an easy pace, letting my eye play in the
fresh-ploughed farmland along the road. Rich soil —
fertile river-bottom blackland. Crop rows spin past in
pinwheel fashion — fleeting glimpses down long, straight
files. They converge to a point. Soothing geometry.
And then it stops. The last column arcs, veering off course —
a dark gash through green groundcover.
I pull halfway off the two-lane blacktop and walk back to
where the tractor must have powered across it, its tilling
disks still spinning, gnashing, clawing scars into the
asphalt. Did the farmer have a stroke, struggling to control
the machine? Perhaps he slumped over, the tractor
charting a course of its own. Or was it a spark of
creativity, crop density and yield per acre be damned?
I’ll be back in the city on Monday — stuck in a cubicle
quoting prices on the same products, email after email.
The gash continued, straight as an arrow, over the road,
through the fence, bisecting the cow pasture, up the hill,
and past a lone oak to disappear quietly over the hill. I
stand staring at the wayward row for some time.