Greener than fescue, Kentucky bluegrass is not blue. The blades are thin and the grass grows quickly and densely in the spring. If it goes to seed (grown to at least a foot), the field develops a feint, silver blue cloud. Under sunlight and in a breeze, it has a reflective sheen. Limestone and nitrogen; water and sun. Seed. It grew sparsely on our farm and the horses kept what they could find, trim.
Just across the road, Tatum’s pastures grew thick with fescue and timothy. Cattle pasture. Double wire electric fencing. But richer with field daisies, susans, Vitis, and cedars. I kept the pond’s dam between the farm house and my trespass. Shimmied under wire.
Even in my adolescence Tatum seemed worth avoiding. I suspect, now, that we had little to talk about (thirty years apart in age) but much in common. We would see him, from time to time, on our property. Carrying a shoulder height walking stick. Wandering across the horse field. Sometimes he would stand, seeming to look at nothing; the thoroughbreds ripping past, tossing their heads and clods of grass.
The horse, silly with the strange; lungs, muscles, hooves.
I recall no conversations with the man. I despised his beagles. And, while farm children go everywhere, farmers (it seemed) should stay at home.
The cedar grove abutted the railroad with a steep bank of clay mud, stone, and weeds. Tracks on creosote ties, a levee of quartz gravel. Scattered: knocked loose, 8 inch iron spikes; spent shot gun shells; the butt end of bottles, detrius from the glass factory.
Parallel the north side of the tracks: a brief, delicious mile; the best wild strawberries in the county. Birds dropped the seeds from low hung power wires.
Hope checks for fruit in the off season.
Two more hills. Two ponds, one dry. An Angus bull. An oak grove. Diesel engines, seemed the sound of a curse … then, more so than now.
A sudden chain link fence.
The quarry was a scar one might never see, but for trespassing. Great buildings deep and farms wide. In its depths, a water so blue. Bluer than a child’s sky. Bluer than life. Alkaline blue. Quarry blue.