Wednesday, June 14, 2006

TENDER IS THE CORN

By Tammy Salazar

Another summer day was drawing to a close. Farmer Jones walked to the edge of his field and quietly observed the rows of gently swaying corn that stretched to the horizon. In all his many years, Jones had never tired of the sight of golden stalks beneath an azure Iowa sky. It was a beauty too perfect for words.

Jones bent over and removed his boots and socks. Then he unhooked his overalls, and the dusty garment fell to the ground. Now wearing just a straw hat and his wife's frayed cotton panties, he stepped into the nearest furrow. The dark, fecund soil felt cool and wonderful between his toes. Jones started walking.

The farmhouse disappeared behind him, and Jones found himself once again enveloped by the serenity of green leaves and wispy tassels. A cool breeze stirred, and with it his troubles seemed to drift away: the dispute with the Farmers Cooperative, a malfunctioning variable-flow irrigation sprinkler head, allegations of lewd and lascivious conduct at the feed store. Jones closed his eyes breathed in the rich, moist air. He felt so peaceful, so completely at one with his corn, as if the universe had bound his spirit inexorably to every last kernel.

On the far side of the field, Eduardo, Jesus and the rest of the Guatemalans put down their tools and watched the large, hirsute farmer in women’s underwear as he ambled toward them, eyes closed, with a look of ecstasy not normally associated with agriculture. They glanced at one another and sighed; though the long and dangerous journey to El Norte was over, their real troubles were just beginning.

(Loyal readers may recall Tammy Salazar's last story, "A Lesson at Breakfast." This woman is hopelessly infatuated with corn!)

2 comments:

Richard Quick, Millionaire said...

On the far side of the field, Eduardo, Jesus and the rest of the Guatemalans put down their tools and watched the large, hirsute farmer in women’s underwear amble toward them, eyes closed, with a look of ecstasy not normally associated with agriculture. They glanced at one another and sighed; though the long and dangerous journey to El Norte was over, their real troubles were just beginning.

If this prose appeared on the rear cover of a book and I read it while in a bookstore, I would buy that book. The decisive moment where I would go from "maybe" to "yes" would be the phrase:

a look of ecstasy not normally associated with agriculture.

sasefina said...

indeed. fine family fun.