Monday, September 5, 2011
Working the Seam
Today three of these pumps share company with us on our ranch. There were four, but a couple of years ago a huge pit was dug and one was uprooted, its seeming miles of pipe pulled and pulled and pulled from deep in the ground and carted off to a graveyard of muddy and rusty oil field equipment. A Land of Misfit Parts. There is no evidence on our field now even of its existence. The other three are mostly silent now, but as far as we know, there is still oil below them to be reaped. We don’t own the pumps and we don’t own what’s beneath them.
The power of these metal beasts is frightening with their gears and thick loops of belts, grumbling motors and hammering heads. The pumps, when in motion, are relentless. They won’t stop for a man's arm or his skull. They pump on in the rain and under the bleach of the sun. They are alive that way, myopic, determined, alone. Working the seam.