by Sandy Croomer

In this photograph
I am fifteen and a woman
with curves I have not quite
fit into yet – hips still narrow
and waist still rib-thin,
thighs lacking the roundness
a man could grip, and at my feet,
the leaves of shucked corn,
all green and crisp, and in my hands
the yellow cob like a prize I’ve won
at the county fair. I don’t remember
the reason my mother took
this picture, though I suppose
it was to remember me in the bud,
tight like a flower plucked before bloom,
ready to spread in a mason jar of water.
This was two years before I wed,
before the first baby and the fullness
my body would know.  The shape
of my future is spelled in fat letters
written in the sky above me.
Harvest, it says, in an ink that faded
over the years, like the corn silk I braided
and used as a bookmark to hold
my place in this ripped-down world.


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