The Straightening

Hard rain and strong winds
have a way of upending those things
that are not deeply rooted—
and sometimes even those that are.

Mornings after the summer storms
would cut a swath
through the fields and garden
of our Todd County farm
would find my father
walking along the rows of corn,
lifting the dark green stalks back toward vertical.

Holding the tassel toward heaven,
he’d press his heel down firmly,
first against the windward side—
and sometimes that was enough—
pushing a little extra of earth
to help hold the stalks in place
until the roots had gained a bit more strength,
deepening their grip into denser dirt.

That works right well
when the corn is only leaning a bit,
a suggestion of sorts as to which way
the wind was blowing.

But yesterday’s roughing
has laid these rows of sweet corn
nearly horizontal—
tassels almost touching the earth.
It will take more than a tug
and the push of a single shoe
to stand these shafts back toward the noonday sun.

Not all that is damaged is destroyed
and the joy of a vivid rainbow
misted against the green bluffs
less than a quarter-mile away
in the near dusk breaking of the clouds
is more than enough in fair trade
for clearing away a half-ton 
of broken branches from the Bradford Pear
and re-tightening a few strands of stretched electric wire.

Even in the taking
our Maker often gives as well.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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