— Barbara Saxton
It was already past six; I was certain
the four ears of corn he’d promised
to save just for us had already
been sold to those Bingo ladies en route
to their Saturday game night in Dalton.
But my wise sister insisted this farmer,
whose Southern wit and beer belly both strained
what buttons remained on his sweat-stained
plaid shirt, would honor the four-word reminder
he’d scrawled on a dirty white card. And he did,
even adding, like some outsize elf, a bonus
fifth ear, without charging us more.
Where I come from, such promises
are fickle as breezes that ruffle
your tall Georgia pines, then hasten to tickle
the boughs of red maples. When aliens come,
may they unearth and savor sweet kernels
of that farmer’s unlikely integrity.