Zachary H Loewenstein

In Southern Minnesota, my job was to pile sugar beets as they came in from the fields. Truck by truck they arrived, twenty-four hours a day, every day—unless it rained too much and the vehicles got stuck.

The ideal height of a beet pile is twenty-eight feet. They would eventually stretch as far as one hundred and fifty yards. As the piles got high and long, I would walk amongst the snaking hills to find the best beets to take home as trophies. 

Sometimes, I remembered the canyons along the border. There I would search for my prize. A rock unlike the others. 

I remember there was a total absence of sound. I was in love with this silence. That is, until the helicopters came or the soldiers passed by, as they did occasionally—unless it rained too much and the vehicles got stuck. 

I would lie flat behind a shrub and watch them. If only I had a couple rockets, I would think. Maybe I would have the jump on them. Maybe I could make it back before the helicopters came. 

Does it matter?

No. It’s just beets. 

It’s more and more beets.  


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