South Fork Poetry: The Last Ear of Corn

By Bruce Buschel

There is nothing lonelier looking
than a solitary ear of corn lying
on a kitchen counter all husked up
saying nothing yearning to have
its silk removed by excited 
fingers in the autumn dusk 

A tomato has that color and shine
plump with the promise of messiness 
a cucumber has that cool and feels 
no need to speak to you — not like a 
a root vegetable whose heroic soul 
has endured dirt dark and excavation

When far from the madding field 
kidnapped from the good farmer’s 
roadside stand tenement stack
600 kernels and 16 rows are not 
enough to give a singleton cob 
a sense of community

So sad so dislocated lying there
without a pillow of scallions or cover
of butter — the salt seems miles away
and totally disinterested like the French
when contemplating un epi de mais.
Would they let a leek sleep alone?


Bruce Buschel is a writer, producer, director, and restaurateur who lives in Bridgehampton.