The corn people

Held in warmth and darkness, the embryos await the light

Grow whole and plump out of the broken

Push their rumpled heads out of the night

 

The babies tremble in the springtime wind

Their tender jade hands patting at the raindrops, their bodies

Stretching slowly toward the sun

 

The children dance in line in the furrows, grow like weeds

And reach to touch hands

Their rippling arms sway above their heads as they play

 

The teenagers are robust, thick-stalked and firm

Tousle-haired, energetic, virile

Eager to be full grown, productive

 

The mature are thirsty, reach their parched hands high

A silent shriek for answers that do not come and

For the life of the young borne against their bodies, for strength

 

The fruitful stand erect, yield produce of excellence and delight

And spent, bereft, but self-respecting

Wait in silence for the end. The good seed will go on

 

The aged shrivel into themselves, pointing crooked fingers

Against the clouded evening sky

Accusing, eerie, alone

 

Held in warmth and darkness, the embryos await the light