Thursday, July 7, 2016

"Corn Maiden" by Tricia Knoll, Frequent Contributor


Corn Maiden
Tricia Knoll

She shuffles the tiniest footsteps
she can, closing in 
on raven watching 
from a pinyon pine.

She soothes
her skirt, dusty from walking 
uneven
pebbled earth.

She forgets her once golden-silk 
braids tied with a leather thong, 
gray now, long, no longer
loose hair in her teeth. 

Her skirt weathered to ash. 
She reaches inside her shirt
for one kernel to feed the dirt,
one to feed the orphan at her heels. 

She sighs blue smoke
a swish of green stalk rising,
waves one hand at sunset
the other at moon and stars.

Her finger dips into mud
enough and abundance,
a white shadow stretches 
a blue corn thanksgiving

above the mound  
where her body 
goes to rest
for winter.

Poet’s Notes: Many indigenous people have stories about the Corn Maiden. I'm most familiar with the Zuni story. This is my own version. I collect Zuni carved fetishes -- and the photo is one of mine, carved by a Zuni artist. 

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