“Cooling Off (In a March Cornfield)”

Cooling Off (In a March Cornfield)

The stalks bent down in broken-spined decay
around a squelching way to what she hoped
was fresher mind–clear of the stuffy day
where, shut indoors, resolve itself had moped.
In movement now, and mud, and steel-cold air,
she sought to shed the skin of that day’s self–
she’d bitched at him;  she knew she wasn’t fair–
but his acceptance of what, upon life’s shelf,
seemed crumbs (to her), turned lips to lion’s jaws
that tore at sense and spattered rage.  She walked
on hard; regrets to come should give her pause,
but patience (his) made self-possession balk.
So, laboring through a frozen field of corn,
she waited for redemption to be borne.

This sonnet (newly-revised) seemed to fit today’s abrupt drop in temperature.  It’s my offering for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night.   (An earlier  version can be found in my book of poems, Going on Somewhere. )
Also, a question for any interested poets:  at the last minute in my re-write, I considering changing verb in final couplet from labor to “wade,” but decided against it, basically because I voted for combination of labor/borne (born) over sound effects, but am curious about other’s views.  Any thoughts:

“So, wading through a frozen field of corn,
she waited for redemption to be borne.”

Thanks much, as always.  K.

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28 Comments on ““Cooling Off (In a March Cornfield)””

  1. claudia Says:

    strong images in this..the frozen field of corn..redemption…wading sounds less like hard work than laboring does…so maybe laboring fits the atmosphere and the birth process better i think…
    …and was nice, walking with you in the wind yesterday…smiles

  2. brian miller Says:

    love it…the picture makes a nice opening contrast….the middle though with teh woman shedding of the skin was really evocaive to me and tactile…love the lines that follow as well…turned lips to lion’s jaws
    that tore at sense and spattered rage—wow…def carries the emotions…

  3. Mama Zen Says:

    “Laboring” is definitely a better fit, I think. This is really gorgeously visual.

  4. Jaime, SA Says:

    This is a spectacular piece of writing! You worked this sonnet to your own shape, and made it say what had to be said. Beautiful work.

  5. always a woman! lol 😉 Nicely done!

  6. hedgewitch Says:

    Lots of undercurrents, and an interesting non-sonnety sort of feel to this–no exalted language, no forced in syllables…I knew it was a form piece reading it, but the sonnet straitjacket was very loose. In terms of meter, ‘waded’ seems to flow the sentence more, but I think ‘labored’ is a better fit with your intended meaning–wading is a very passive sort of thing.

  7. yelena Says:

    ‘she sought to shed the skin of that day’s self..’ – adore this. so evocative, i can almost feel that cold air. beautiful sonnet.

  8. I’m blown away by this brilliant piece of writing! You have given the classic form your own modern voice.

  9. zongrik Says:

    the redemption part was really surprising!!

    georgeson island

  10. Fabulous piece!! Loved the voice=–loved the feel–and great use of the form–

  11. lovely and strong sonnet!

  12. tashtoo Says:

    I think it’s just wonderful the way its written. Appreciate the word play and think it lends even more strength. Also appreciate some key lines as well…made me think of hubby and how awesome he really is…though I seldom show proper appreciation. Great pen than has set this mind to pondering more than just a cold snap!

  13. Really do think laboring works so well.

    And nice imagery, and wonderful use of form.

    Great write hear.

  14. bajanpoet Says:

    Read it several times … loved it better with every read… and I think ‘labouring’ fits better than ‘wading’….

  15. Jody Collins Says:

    Karin–the images are powerful….and I like the sound of ‘wading’ in the last lines. Seems to read more smoothly and I like the ‘w’ repeat in ‘waiting.’
    Thanks for asking.

  16. Shawna Says:

    Love your opening line: “The stalks bent down in broken-spined decay”

  17. kaykuala Says:

    Wading appear to be more appropriate, K! As you have to venture across through the brush. Labor gave connotations of working on them. Brilliant write and the thinking around it!


  18. Great poem, K. Very visual and emotional.
    I gave considerable thought to that last bit, and I like labor better than wading, because wading and waiting sound too much alike so close together, and wading would seem peaceful, and out of place in this. I actually tried to go a whole nuther way, searching for something angrier, and possibly with sound; crunching, stomping, thrashing, charging,marching, crashing. Couldn’t land on one that worked. So I vote for “laboring”!

  19. ManicDdaily Says:

    Thanks so much, Charles, for your time and thought. I agree. I kind of liked the sound-alikeness of wade and wait, but there’s a bit of play of borne and born, so that’s why I went with labor (as in giving birth labor.) Ha! Who knows. Anyway, was thinking of march too at beginning–maybe change around March Corn Field to Corn Field-March. Again–ha–who knows? Will probably let a little time pass and then revisit. K.

  20. ayala Says:

    Love the lines here…she sought to shed the skin of that day’s self…wow..visual and excellent!

  21. Chazinator Says:

    Simply wonderful. You have put into the sonnet material that I think is just amazing. I wantbto write some of these some day when I grow up!

  22. Semaphore Says:

    Laboring-borne: you made the perfect choice… and I especially like the insight that this little tidbit provides into your working process. I admire that sort of attention to craft, and this gem of a little sonnet is a testament to yours.

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