The corn that our neighbor planted on our land has grown so tall that we cannot see the land that dips down west of our property, where the sun sets. Instead, when we stand beside the old lilac bushes, by the huge rocks that must’ve been the foundation of a barn, we look west into a green wall that is much taller than we are. I have stood in the corn with my arms stretched up to the sky, and beside me, the corn stalks stretch taller than my fingers. My narrow, reaching arms seem to imitate the plants around me.
A couple of days ago, when some cousins came by for a visit, my children wanted to show them the wild cherry tree that grows on the south border of our property. We had to walk between two rows of corn to get there, with the wide slightly furry leaves rasping against our faces. I almost felt I had to hold my breath, and that our walk would never end, but of course it did. We admired the tight green fruits on the cherry tree, then turned back to press single file through the corn again. A baby, who made the trip in his mother’s arms, cuddled his face into his mother’s shoulder to hide it from the reaching leaves. The baby’s father called out, “it smells like corn!” I had not noticed the sweet smell because I had been so absorbed by the feeling of the leaves against me.
My daughter likes to play in the corn, but only for a little bit, if I am outside and not far away. She and my son have found rooms in the field, where no corn grew, and where they are surrounded by walls of green. They have given the rooms names such as “14 through 17” based on the number of rows they must cross before they reach the rooms. I am glad that my children play in the corn, and I am glad that they never play very long there.