Abbey Meaker writes a poem in response to Amanda Turner Pohan’s artist book, Maize Meditation (2018).
Keeper of the Seeds
Listen to the wind, the voices it carries. She won’t refuse; she says it’s in plain sight and gestures toward it, continually.
We walked but didn’t know what lay under our feet.
It smelled strong, hovered and lingered there. Dampened by rain, dampened by the river flooding. It grew heavy under the mist. It greyed.
We didn’t know what was under our feet, but it did grow each day, pulled up by the light.
We could sense it. We were told but chose to forget.
From the earth came that smell each year and its brittle figures whose seeds were tenderly cared for continued to grow with ease, invisibly. Walking by and imagining now: the way we encounter time through its growth, the burden of remembering and forgetting.
We passed by continually and admired the way the wind gently moved the hollow, elder stalks.
We know what stirs under our feet, but we refuse her. She endures.
We trample it and think we possess it, but it possesses us: our sight, our sense of smell, and time memory.
We know what lay under our feet but not who cares for the seeds, keeps them. Chief Shirly Hook beckons us still.
— Abbey Meaker