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In a Shallow Boat

by Zachary Faircloth

A E Faircloth died on Easter morning 2014. Among the things he left behind was a tidy double-wide on an acre lot in Longs, an unincorporated community in the northeastern corner of South Carolina. The lot fronted a couple of old wooden sheds, behind them a meticulously groomed if wholly plain vegetable garden. Twenty humped rows, hewn into the ground by years of 5:00 a.m. mornings, had been the object of tending and planting and picking that was as reliable as the sun that rose to wake A. E. to tend and plant and pick, most days before going to work with a local concrete mixing crew. When I returned to my grandfather’s home some years after his death, I was surprised to find the grass had grown over what had for all of my life been tilled rows of black soil. I knew that grass would grow in that part of the lot once the field was no longer tilled; I had not figured the humped rows would still be there, imagining instead a clean break into flat earth where a slow, persistent memory had been etched into the ground.

This article appears as an abstract above, the complete article can be accessed in Project Muse
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