Corn Goddesses

Two silhouettes, two girls about to be women, walking obliquely across the awakening loam, eyeing the furrows for arrowheads kicked up by the plow and feeling the April air through the holes in their jeans, which are whiter than the powder on the bark of birches. Their naked feet make watery music in the soil, now blacker than a magpie because of the rain and smelling of angleworms. ``If you breathe on it, something sprouts,'' is what the farmers say about this land along the Mississippi bluffs. Hugged by the morning sun, the girls stop and work their heels deeper and deeper into the earth. They have a chapter of Thucydides to read before first hour, but they prefer to root themselves and blossom.

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