My Very Long Sentence

If the furrows in the dirt were stray fingerprints, as if the entire field were old putty and someone had been fiddling with it while talking to their brother on the phone about the summer when they slept in the apple tree for three weeks until Beth fell out and broke her leg, and Adam took her in the wagon to the hospital, and Dr. Hayden set his first bone and it was Beth’s, and  they remembered it so hard and well that they were squashing the putty of the field down so flat that if that if you settled your feet in the dirt between two furrows and held your chin up like you had a reason, you could see the sunset in China,  now that would be a field to grow the kind of tobacco in that Grandpa grew when he hitchhiked into Royson County wearing only his brother’s overalls and his mother’s straw hat and bought a field from Widow Cohan, who had five sons in the army and whose daughter was mad but who never shed a tear over any of them, on the strength of his brown eyes and the way he held his shoulders, because that field was the one that Gil Cohan had farmed for three years before he went to fight for country and every night he walked the field in spirals and held his chin up like he had a reason and rhymed words to fend off the dark, so when Grandpa sowed that field it knew how to talk and give and grow poetry and the tobacco from it sold for 75¢ in the general store because it tasted like home and smelled like the hope of travel and if you had both those things in a tin of county-grown tobacco you held the world in your hand, and that’s something to remember hard and well.

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