Happy Thursday, friends! During my morning writing yesterday, I wrote an earlier version of this poem, and I revised it today and wanted to share it. I hope you enjoy it. I think it has a heartbeat.
You once said—in a TikTok video, of all places—that cornstalks swaying
in the wind were a Midwestern ocean, and I understood you—
the ache in my gut for the smell of wheat, the beans, the musk
that hits the air around a cornfield; stolen cornstalks strapped
around a tree in our poor attempt at being “festive” in the fall.
I search for stalks on the white wakes of the sea. I yearn
for the smell of corn husk, maple, and gourd
in the palms. Somewhere, I know, there’s another woman
left out in the Midwest, pouring over
her Midwestern breakfast, her Midwestern heart beating
in time to the sway of nearby soybeans. Her steps work in time
with the cackle that rises from the murder of crows
she cannot see from her kitchen window, though she
does not know. She will not consider all of the ways the land
has wound up inside of her—not until she leaves it
and feels each—the deer, the wild berries,
the dried-up creek, the raccoon, and the pine—drawn out
of her, one by one like a thread:
a silent unraveling only she can see.
Thank you for reading!
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