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A Good Year
Tyler Dillow
The soybeans grew which made it a good year.

Walking along the hedgerow, I kick the fallen apples.

My great-grandmother told me, To plant these hedgerows was a lot of work.

She said, More work than you know.

They would take the apples, mash them in buckets, and pour them into the smooth, deep trench they dug
by hand. The rows are miles long. The rows grid the land. They make it square. I kick the apples. I sing
songs about hedgerows. Hedgerows keep the dust away, but I sing to bring it in.


A bobwhite quail whistles and I whistle back. It’s easy to know its a quail. It whistles its name—
bobwhite. And that’s how I know, it whistles its name. My father taught me this like fathers do when they
teach their kid something no one could know. Other people do know, but I know what my father knows
and father knows this.


I sing a song about the quail and the rain begins to fall.

The danger with quail is where they lay their eggs. In gullies and ditches, under brush and reeds. So when
it rains it can wash them away. And the turkeys can stomp their eggs.


When it rains a lot can be washed away. That’s the problem with rain, but it makes for a good year
because the soybeans grow.


The prairie sways and I sing old songs. I sing them loud and sway like the prairie sways. Songs, people
only sing in Kansas. Songs that bring the dust in. I sing songs I was taught. But when it rains I can’t kick
up dust.


My mother told me, It’s best to sing these songs alone.

And I think it’s best because only the wind can hear you and the wind can carry. This is what she said, so
I let it carry me.


I can see the soybeans growing out in the field and I can hear my father saying, It’s going to be a good
year.

11:50:37
Monday Nov 5 2018