Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Promised Lands

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Promised Lands

Article excerpt

Many a morning it was easy not to wake up, but already discolored figures were entering and leaving through the half-dreamt house carrying I don't know what kind of boxes as if they were on a time-table. How can I forget eating breakfast without being aware of it, or how suddenly metal rang against metal as a green two-wheeled trailer was hooked up to haul bundles of household goods.

Now all the journeys are one: very early and hopeful, we left by the empty asphalt highway (I always remember a black car), we left secretly, well before first light, like people who wanted to be spared the shame of living. And I felt like not going, like resting from earlier times. Each summer we reappeared because the land toward the south (El Campo, Wharton, Taiton, New Taiton, Glen Flora) promised cotton bolls and green fields; because there was no way to lighten that life's life, to redeem us

from one single excessively sunny afternoon when the body was soaked with sweat, and the sun's daggers let us have it in the back. (Please, who will come one day for me to cure me of the horror of being here, to quench my thirst forever?)

Far on into September, the plants already dried out, I continued being the indolent child, because I had no other hope than for us to go north up the road (Hale Center, Plainview, Levelland, Seymour, Seminole) where suddenly we were already choking with the cold sand, where we were racing the clock again elbow to elbow like a congenitally humpbacked mass spread out through the state wrapped up stooped over kneeling through the brittle frost and scratched by the scythelike stalks as we gave the necessary pull and snap to dry-hulled bolls. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.