The Ripening

Tasselled by Independence Day,
field a sea you plunged in
among the green shafts, arms bare,
leaves stroking you like the rough
tongues of ruminants.
The splendid height in fruit
excited you, sugar milking
in the kernel, ears firm
under your learning grasp.
The cob groaned
as you unsheathed it,
exposed pale flesh, gnashed
at the creamy sweetness with
young teeth suddenly ravenous.
That was the humid season
you locked the deep eyes
of a doe at first light,
creeping home past the snow
peas gone by in the dew-cool
between one overwhelming
heat and the next. A blaze
of tail melting into blue trees—
she was gone. A blooded dawn
overgrew the morning star.

Lisa Raatikainen is a writer and music teacher who holds degrees in religion and biology. Her writing has appeared in Whale Road Review, Eunoia Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Vermont with her family.