112

Zak
We Called it Emptiness

say that Texas needed the lines, that Dallas and Austin needed wind energy from the Panhandle, but lattice towers didn’t hide and now everyone would see them from the highway.
Andy sang softly to himself. I asked him if he’d written anything new lately, and he shrugged. A few songs about the Ogallala drying up, he said. He told me the aquifer was being depleted and no one really knew how long we had. Some said ten years, some said twenty. But they all knew one day it’d be gone and none could say what’d come after. Just that things would change and maybe the cotton would die, the fields would would turn from green to amber as farmers grew something different, maybe wind, maybe farms of white turbines along all the back country roads.
I asked Andy if he’d sing me a verse, and he nodded. His voice was soft, vibrant above the cotton fields, the whir of the lattice towers beside. I kept my hands in my pockets as he sang that the land was made for buffalo, for cactus and blue stem. It was not made for planted rows, for banks or governments. “But I’m a farmer by my lot, next year runs in my veins,” he sang, quiet so quiet, “born to plow the prairie sod with promises of rain.”
I thought maybe we’d never get used to the lattice towers. Maybe

we’d always hear the wires hum as they ran across the farmers’ land, and no matter how loud Andy sang, how fierce the wind blew, they’d never grow old, never settle into the wide spaces we called our home.
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