Poet’s Corner-Plowing Corn


Allowed, I followed man-made rows

from road to wood, and wood to road,

I weeded seedlings… plants… until

too tall to plow.

He did not teach me how to plan a field,

to make straight rows,

to finish ends.

I learned that on my own.

Squinting to a place far out,

a chosen point–

a post, a barn, the trunk of some odd tree–

I held the tractor to its course.

Hand to hand and back again, I’d gauge,

by tractor tire or tractor hood,

or rows — to give my neck a rest —

from clod to clod I’d right the wheel.

My father sowed many a crooked row;

he thought each straight,

until he saw the yield —

my brothers’ fields, the same.

They have cornfields of their own, you know —

he saw to that —

Tradition. Land. The name.

We all expected that.

Straight rows do not a farmer make.

I dream I’d run the rows all side to side,

zigzagging them, or in one rotation,

circle in, or out. Put in new fence rows.

Perhaps that’s why, allowed,

I followed man-made rows.

( There was a time I could have asked. )

But then, perhaps not.

By Donna Rice

First publisher, Pudding House Publications

Second, Art-to-Art Palette Journal/Vol 19, No 1, 2007

Published by on March 2013. Filed under Art-to-Art Palette Journal, Poet's Corner dept. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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