Once, I’m told, the alluvial soil was deep and generous here,
and the seed knew its way and took root with abandon, eager to
send up tender spring green, the joyful noise of a million small
leaves unfurling beneath the bright blue Indiana sky.
And all the fertile farmland was deep like a secret, soil like
ebony, inked with mystery, and the seed knew, and we all did, too,
how so much that matters takes place in the dark.
Now the secret is out, it’s loose in the lab, the mystery bleached
like bones in the desert, all the darkness bled into mud brown rivers
shallow and poor with nothing to hold them.
It’s a different sort of midwest brain-drain, seeds gone stupid with
quarterly profit, laying tight in parsimonious dirt and we call it
progress, but the seed knows, and we do, too, that all the patents in
the roundup ready world won’t bring back that joyful noise.