Of Weeds and Wheat

Billowing wave after wave of southeasterly wind the heavy wheat heads of Northwestern Oklahoma bent over and sprung back in reciprocating gestures like a parade queen waving at me on Father’s Day. Clicking away with my digital shutter, I recorded the moments overlooking the wheat fields of my son-in-law’s family from the top of a hill. He had boyishly grabbed my youngest grandson and tucked him safely away in the cab of the combine before roaring off in the mighty machine at a fast snail’s pace along row after row of wheat. The race was against the storm looming high in the northern sky. We were anticipating that we would witness the next unloading of wheat from the combine into the truck as we stood there watching intently under a small thicket of rickety old elms that once graced a farmstead of long ago. The structure’s remnants lay in heap overgrown with weeds behind us. My wife mentioned it probably was a cozy home at one time. As she was saying that my eyes peered over the mysterious mound of gray wood and rusty metal and I replied, “Still is.” However, I was referring to a cozy home for Oklahoma rattlers. With all the available wheat seed, I thought that there should have been plenty of rodent activity and resulting attraction for snakes. Feeling a bit uneasy, I pulled my wife’s hand a littler further away from the weeds and into the close cropped wheat stubble. Feeling the clean breeze on my face reassured me that I did not own or owe the toil of this land. I was a visitor free to leave when I’ve filled me eyes with enough. I could leave the wheat and weeds as a memory just as I have the garden hoe of my youth. I had used it at one time or another to kill both weeds and rattlesnakes. I’m glad there are machines for those things now and my son-in-law is doing it.


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June 2008
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