This Year’s Corn











Cicadas serenade the kernels,
sunflowers lift their fingers from their faces
beaming harvest gold, bees dance madly in the tassels,
a hot sun beats a daily rhythm for listening ears,
and the green cloaked corn ripens.


My golden retriever smells it first, ambling
to the field, yanking an ear, settling in the lawn
using both front paws to strip back the green wrap,
devouring summer’s first ear.


Then the front page news is out, no more hidden
brown-silked secrets, sweet corn time is upon us.
Set the kettle to boil, gather the family to stand
in the waving giant’s leaves, inhale deeply the rush
of tassels and silks, snap off ears, filling your basket.
The milk cow takes notice crowding the fence, remembering
her part of the feast, luscious husks thrown to her feet.


Sliced tomatoes in balsamic and basil to the right, new potatoes
like rolling marbles on the platter to the left, front and center
set the timer for three minutes, pulling up your napkin,
butter tray set, salt at the ready, commence rolling,
making a perfect print, mirroring the succulent rows
in the soft butter, but wait- stop-


Just for a moment before
bringing this piece of August to your lips.
Let your mind wander
to other summers, picnic tables, squealing
children, shady swimming
holes and the first ears.


Bite slowly into this memory,
savoring all the years locked inside
these tender rows of ripeness.


Anne Maren-Hogan

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker