Corn Where Cotton Was: The Profit Motve

 

Last year there was cotton in the field across from the silo.

I had stopped to photograph the white abundance of its bolls.

This year there is corn.  It will be harvested before long.

It is August and that what is done in August.

 

The cornís life is near its end,

It is browning, folding, crimping its leaves,

Readying for the inevitable coming of the great combine

Whose turning blades and mysterious knives

Will cut the stalks, and, in the same motion

Reap the browning ears, depositing them

In its inevitable companion trailer.

 

This will leave the field across from the silo barren,

Barren and sad. 

The fieldís soil has inherited chemicals engineered to kill,

To kill all but corn.

It will be the brave Johnson grass,

The brave Everyweed,

Which will dare to start its life here.

 

Next year there may be cotton again, or soybeans, but

Whatever is planted will be treated with chemicals

To kill all but whatever will turn a profit. 

 

--August 5, 2013