“Of Corn Shocks and Rabbits”

Sorry if you’re not a “poem person,” but I took a poetic approach this week. My poem was inspired by Grant Wood’s “January” (that guy who painted those funny farmers in American Gothic).

(Image: Grant Wood’s “January” – 67 x 83 cm, oil on canvas. Created in 1940, Wood was about 49 years old [died at 51 of pancreatic cancer]). 

“Of Corn Shocks and Rabbits”

By Michael B. Colling 

Endless rows of snow-covered corn shocks, frozen
in formation. January’s cold breath blackens the
sky. Yellow stalks twine upwards like nomadic
tepees. And he, and you, and I. We are Nomads.

My layers of corn – stalks of cereal bowls, comic
strips, and yearbooks; husks of hospital visits, haircuts
and hyperthyroid; shucks of sisters-in-law, Christmas, and
crappy cars; strands of careers, laughter and cancer – I bundle

them together. But hoarfrost crippled my corn
shock bones. Beneath pale yellow ribs:
thu-thump, thu-thump. Something inside I fear
to release. And he, and you, and I. We are Afraid.

Corn shock cracks. A rabbit hops onto the belly of snow,
grazes a transcendent terrain. Footprints puncture the frozen
flesh of January. When Nomadic Tent is abandoned,
a Fearless Rabbit trots towards Eternal Hills.

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