Is It All Right Stuart?: Selected Poems of Gerald T. Perkoff

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RAMROD ROWS How similar they are tall straight rows of soldiers and corn that grow so fast you can hear them in the night must step back quickly to keep from being hit by the tears of joy that descend while children become men as we watch them sleeping. Corn shoots climb like Jack on his beanstalk to their certain end tassels waving in the wind like celebrities handkerchiefs under the noses of starstruck admirers hiding so much sweetness in their budding kernels they begin a descent to tasteless in the instant of picking stalks suddenly shorn and stacked in shocks only if someone notices their loneliness and binds them for company. Young men no more sophisticated than puppies grow from baby to manhood long before experience makes them mature the methods of war instilled as they stand ramrod no tassels here only flags waving and feet marching hut two three four jab and pull aim and shoot fall and die human stalks to turn brown dry up and become fodder.