Life at 55 mph

Drive the backroads in December. Watch the field sparrows scrape the gravel of the berm looking for the corn the grain trucks spilled on route to the silos. Occasionally a harrier hawk will interrupt the search with a search of her own. Life here can be brutal.

Watch as the sparse dwellings go by eeking an existence along Route 598. This one rescues wildlife. That one repairs lawn mowers. There is the local AmVets. It is an unremarkable pole and aluminum structure advertising a fish fry. Really look and imagine the faces inside of them.

The fields are like acres of blank canvas waiting for spring to pull out her pallet and redecorate the place, but spring will have to wait her turn. Look more closely at the fields. The stubble of last season’s crop through the snow, like a Braille lesson in what has been and what could be. The plow metes out the lines that are the staff and the stuff of life. The telephone poles mark each meticulous measure, flying by with the andante of 55 years, or 55 mph.

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