“Devotion Brand” Sweet Corn

It’s sandy loam out where the garden grows,
surrounded by a fence of value. Corn
is stalking, strangled by the cause of crows.
The ears are peeled of shucks and bared. I mourn
here on my knees and weeping in the rows
remember father, long since gone, his scorn
of sleeping in. A little slumber sows
destruction. Folded hands at dawn aren’t worn.
There is no cover from above, from those
who seek to steal. They have no clock, aren’t torn
by grace or mercy— this a farmer knows.
The tassels harden at the thought, stillborn.
I strip the scarecrow down. The wooden cross
is all that’s left, enough to bear the loss.

Charles (Charlie) Southerland lives on his farm in North-Central Arkansas where he bales hay, mills lumber, hunts and fishes. When he has time, he writes poetry on just about every subject. He is published in Trinacria, The Rotary Dial, First Things, The Road Not Taken and other journals. He has been nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize and is a finalist in the 2015 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Contest. He likes to write sonnets, villanelles and sapphics.