Wheat Field with Crows (1890), Vincent van Gogh


As I reach the rise, I turn to take one last look back at a past that nearly consumed me.

The setting sun lends a golden hue to the wheat field, suggesting a false sense of hope that has long vanished from that place. More to the truth is the ominous presence of a black horizon, one no longer mine. Yet, while there, that blackness was no horizon, but an ever present now that nearly suffocated my very soul.

How appropriate, that a murder of crows moving towards that blackness, earnestly cawing as they sight carrion, should be mirrored by the massive clouds roiling overhead, seemingly ready to feed on that bit of my soul left behind.

True hope lies in the opposite direction. I note how the track seems ever greener the further behind it leaves that dark past, as I turn once more to face the warm glow of the setting sun and the promise of a brighter future.


Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #7: Wheatfield offers the choice of a photo of a wheat field or a painting, Wheat Field with Crows, by Vincent van Gogh. I don’t know that my piece is microfiction. Perhaps it’s an essay, or maybe an opening/intro (with the exception of the last paragraph) to a flashback, but it’s not something I plan to pursue. The word count here is 160.
(I tend to see faces and shapes within patterns in innocuous items, like wood grain, the random markings on tile or the texture of a brick. The line of thought in this piece was inspired the heads of crows I see facing right in the clouds – large and ominous in the center, faint in the upper left and receding in the upper right – as if waiting on a telephone line to lunge to the earth.)
Of course, Jane’s critique is welcome.

Image source: Wikipedia