Thursday, September 01, 2011

Shucking Corn




The phone rings. "Corn's in," says the farmer's wife
so I take my biggest boiling pots and cut over to the farm
where, on the terrace, wait four large bags stuffed
with cobs, their green bodies firm, their hair like silk.

The sun is tipping into the pond. Clouds catch fire
and glow like lanterns. In the pale, warm light we
husk the corn, pulling the long green leaves from 
yellow kernels, each one as plump as a baby's cheek

and sweet, so sweet we can't help but nibble.
Shucking corn is like good conversation. You start
with generalities, husks, and tear them away
to get to the kernel of what you're thinking. In the end, 

you have something different than what you started with;
no longer useful coverings, heaps of silken threads, and in your hand
an ear, in your mind a pearl. All of life is a metaphor for something
else. Corn can stand in for communion if you want it to.

10 comments:

Towanda said...

Communion is good.

Judith said...

This is a keeper.
I have three C's that I love:
corn, conversation, and communion.
Beautiful, Pauline

Barbara said...

I have never experienced communal corn-shucking but it sounds like a good experience. Just about as good as eating fresh-picked corn.

But what is most interesting is the different ways people approach those cobs. There are those who eat in straight lines. And there are those who go round and round. And there are a few who cut off the kernels, as my father always did.

red dirt girl said...

Love this! and corn, too!!

xxx

Hilary said...

Beautiful. "All life is a metaphor for something else." <------- And so true. 'Ears to you!

Tabor said...

A lovely project. ARe you freezing or canning some?

Out on the prairie said...

We used to have an assembly line going when my aunt froze up some corn.All had their own job.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I can almost take that delicious corn.... I've probably shucked about 10,000 ears of corn in my day and this sums it up perfectly.
Beautiful.
Happy weekend, jj

Pauline said...

Towanda - indeed it is, especially over 100 ears of corn and a few mugs of tea :)

J - and if you husk corn with someone you can experience all three at once ;)

barbara - any work is better done with someone; the time goes by more quickly and you can always try to solve the world's problems with an exchange of ideas

Hey RDG - shucks ;)

lol Hilary :)

Tabor - I steamed the ears and cut the kernels off the cobs. Into the freezer they went to add to soups and stews this winter or to fritters and side dishes and relishes.

OOTP - I was my own assembly line :)

JJ - and worth every ear, yes?

Barbara Shallue said...

Beautiful metaphor!! Makes me want to go find some corn to shuck!