Tuesday, April 10, 2012


golden oceans of corn sprawl on for miles
hide and go seek in husks of corn and corn 
and corn
October clouds dancing now, gold and new
and God is big says grandma 
on the front porch with lemons

God is big and you’ll know that 
when you leave this dreadful place 
with its October skies
and its cherry trees 
shriveling to dust

you’ll know, she says, when you get to heaven
that there are bigger things than big corn fields
and me, I just stand there 
kicking ’round dust
staring down with too-long hair, cut it
cut it now so you’ll look like a man, boy
so you’ll look like an honest-to-gosh man from Iowa
plowing through corn fields tall

with a John Deere tractor and a ball cap
with medals and scars and hard-to-chew steak
but me, now I’m 23 
Chuck All Stars on my sad old feet 
with two toes plum out
and my hair
ain’t cut it since ever
since grandma and her lemons 

and her scorn
telling me
God’s so big you’ll never know
you, boy, with your girl hair and your torn shoes
with your raggedy clothes and your black face
you’ll never know you look like your grandpa
like that
all dirty and un-soaped and coarse
but I guess-she says-
I guess now you know

About Ryan Swofford:
Ryan Swofford currently edits the online literary magazine, Dumb Butt Mag. He has also had work published in various literary journals and magazines, including The Camel Saloon & The Legendaryamong others. He is working on his first novel.


  1. Grandma and her lemons! What a trouble these lemon women are. Thanks for the poem sir - most enjoyable.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Mrs. Enochsson! I enjoy your poetry as well...congratulations with LUSH. Can't wait to peep at it.