In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.  He’d say “babe, always take care of your own, and always harvest the corn” which made little sense to me.  I was born and raised in the land of fallen stars, silicon implants, and ashphalt jungles.  The only time I ever saw a cornfield was once a year when my family would pack up for summer vacation and “go home” to the Midwest where both of my parents were raised. 

I grew up knowing (but I was forbidden to speak of it) that my cousin Francine was molested by my aunt’s new husband, many many years ago, and that Mr. Doe did a long prison sentence for the offense.  When he was released from prison, he went on his merry way off into the sunset and started a new life somewhere.

It was only later, at a family reunion with my own half grown daughter that I heard the real story.  The Taylor Boys thought that they were unobserved when they had their walk down memory lane, with only the campfire and the lightening bugs to bear witness.  “Hey Tom, remember that night in the cornfield?” my uncle Fred asked.  My father replied “I know I sure do, that son of a bitch got what he deserved.”  My Uncle Randy piped in “he sure didn’t see us Taylor Boys comin for him, that was for damned sure.”  “And remember how good the corn growed right where we planted his goddamned carcass” one uncle chimes, “Hell yes, I had to harvest that year, but he sure did turn out some fine tasting corn” my father laughs.

I now live in a state where cornfields are as common as tractors, as common as  junkyards, as common as child molesters.  I was out in my cornfield tonight  when my daughter came out and saw me packing some dirt with a shovel.  Under the light of the full moon she was a beauty to behold,  with only a little  of the sadness showing.  “Mom, you promise me that the bad man isn’t coming back?’  ” I promise baby” I say to her as I tamp the last of the newly tilled earth down, “and we’re going to have a good harvest this year”.  Yes, we take care of our own, Daddy, don’t you worry.


One Response to “Harvest”

  1. Hmmmmm, nice story. I’ll never think of a cornfield the same way as I read your story. Makes you wonder as You pass a cornfield now days, if anyones been tilling the grown by the light of the moon. You’ll find mine below

    My fathers Laws

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