It was a very tall summer in 1957, and I’ll tell you why.
The heat rose over that flat gray earth in great coils of dust. The air was hard in the mornings, pressing down like an iron on cloth. A scouring wind, a withering kind, that bore the smell of infertility. In the afternoons, the heat was dirty, with a roly-poly gusts that conjured dust devils and reshaped the hollow spaces. There were acres of withered corn, dry-boned and bled useless. They were sterile days choked with fear and disappointment.
The sky had no top, because that’s all there was. The flat, stubby fields gave life a shallow perspective. A man could drift away like a mote of dust. It was all about size and loneliness. The sky would break you if you thought about it for too long, or stared too hard. The soil was nothing, a farm was nothing, the people were nothing, compared to that huge and hard canopy that filled our lives.
That summer was very tall.