Deep Blue

deep-blueA farmer in Iowa continued farming well into his 80s. He drove his air-conditioned tractor ten hours a day, even when there was nothing to till, nothing to plow, nothing to disc or harrow or plant. He drove until the sun went below the horizon and the sky was an indigo palette, shading to a strip of orange where it met the earth. He drove toward that strip, off the edge, and into the sky. His tractor caught the last ray of sun from below the horizon and winked its spark of light as it sailed into the deep blue.


Patricia O’Donnell is a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Maine at Farmington. Her memoir, Waiting to Begin, was recently published by Bottom Dog Press; her novel, Necessary Places, was published by Cadent Publishing. Her short fiction has appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, The North American Review, Agni Review, and Prairie Schooner. Next year her collection of short fiction, Gods for Sale, will be published by Snake Nation Press.

Photo Credit: Richard Walker

8 Responses to “Deep Blue”

  1. Linda Welter says:

    Thank you for writing this story, inspired by my dad and all farmers who spend a lifetime doing what they love. I know dad is still driving his tractor in the Deep Blue and smiling down on all of us today.

  2. Harry O Davis says:

    Deep Blue is stunning. Everything most important and beautiful in life in here in that old painful love you get looking at the horizon you can never reach. I say Deep Blue is perfect.

  3. Kate Burak says:

    This is exquisite!

  4. Possibly the best story I’ve ever read on this website. Magnificent. Simple, concise but stretches to the furthest reaches of imagination.

  5. Love that pic! Want that pic. Perfectly complements the vividness of the story.

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