We wait for the crackle of growth, and the husks split like fraying bell-rope.
There’s that indomitable smell of chlorophyll: the life-giving and sustaining
smell of green, a scent not delicious nor sweet but beckons the pineal gland,
a button we press as we ask for more — again, again, again.

It’s fresh, and it’s nothing until you peel to the centre. A maize of its own
right. Running my thumb and forefinger against the striations of itself,
thousands of straight lines speak a language of simplicity I’ll never
comprehend. What thrill must the first person have had to run their fingers
against the colour of fall’s flesh.

I try now, lingering on tassel and anther and earwigs. It’s guilt-rendering,
forcing silks to shed. But I’m reminded this entity doesn’t feel guilt. This
entity isn’t bothered with lost potential. Its stems aren’t sturdy with fear or
loss or grief or love. This entity simply arches its neck toward the sun,
waiting and wanting for nothing until stalks and styles are returned to the

Over time, the ground, (which was better suited for potatoes and cabbages)
adapted, made concessions. Made room for its neighbour, which grows high
albeit not well, and we continue to wait, but impatience is imminent, and
harvest time comes early as we greet our irregular sorghum. We did this,
anyway, we think, peeling sharp edges of green. Taking what’s ours.

Greed is God in a slow-growing garden.

Scraping off beige-coloured chiclet bits, an irredeemable yield. If it were
correct, it’d be softer. Rounder. Fuller. The bounce of something to the brim
with life. Instead, we’re met with rocky bits. They scatter like marble on the
kitchen tile. Distended with pride.

Borrowed flesh and broken bits. Hard enough to be seeds, but we cast it in
the compost anyhow.

About the Author

Kristina Stocks is a writer living on the island of Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland) Canada. She is a seller of books and is completing an MA of creative writing at Memorial University. Kristina was the winner of the WANL Folklore contest and SNAP Art Gallery flash fiction contest in 2022. You can find her work Miracle Monocle and Untethered Magazine (forthcoming), among other publications.