Summer 2010

Table of Contents - Vol. VI, No. 2


Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

Katie Fesuk


Child’s Task in Massachusetts

Our corn came from Breezy Gardens
after tassels sprouted, silks flowered,
seed-fills blistered. By ear nodes,
I drew each piece out of a brown bag
big as my body and took hold
of disheveled hair still damp with soil,
then ripped. I shucked using knees and arms
and understood the task’s importance.
Kernels crowned like a baby’s head.
Husks peeled away easily as dolls’ clothes
to reveal neat rows of golden jewels.

A school field trip taught me how Indians
sun-dried and shaved corn beads,
pounded them to fine maize,
ground them down to grain and hominy
in the belly of hollowed-out stone.
I lingered behind classmates to touch inside
that small bowl, weathered from use. I sensed
women with braids and luminous skin
working the corn, beating the stone
now beneath my palm.

I wondered what daughter
shucked the ears for them first,
with what reverence
their preparation came to pass.


© Katie Fesuk



Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

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