Summer Gold

In fields of green rows
stand stalks so straight and tall,
laden with precious gold encased
within the bulging green husks.
With a twist and a tug,
each ripe ear is freed,
then carried from the field
to be sold at the produce stand,
a farmer’s care and concerns
contained within the crop.

Eight bushel baskets full,
some four hundred ears
are bought and carried home.
In the shady heat of the covered porch,
the husks are ripped open, then away.
Both cob ends are cut with sharp cutlery,
all worms and diseased kernels removed,
and the golden cob carefully brushed clean
of clingy, wispy silk by starch-sticky hands,
all amidst the annoying heat and flies,
the pleasantly corny conversation,
and a growing mound of green and gold debris.

The cleaned cobs are now carried inside
for washing, then brought to a blanching boil
in huge pots that fill the kitchen air
with high heat and humidity.
>From the blanched ears, row upon row
of sweet, plump, golden kernels
are cut and scraped off the cob.
Bagged in pint freezer bags by the dozens,
this day’s culinary efforts will provide
good eating year ‘round of fresh-tasting
fleeting summer gold.

Harry Edward Gilleland      06.26.04