I stand here, holding what now looks more like a bottle than the ear it really is.
Hold it at the bottom, pour the milk out through the top.
Careful when you cut it, not too deep.
Cut too deep and you get the tough parts nobody wants to chew.
Cut each ear, each one into the bottle.
Pour it from the top, just the back of the knife so you get all the milk.
She never told me this, how to cut the corn, how to milk it.
She showed me.
I stand here, at the very table where I remember her cutting and milking, snapping beans, kneading coffee can bread and turning it out on a cloth after taking it from the fire.
She never told me how to get the strings off, how to bring the beans up to a boil fast and then turn them low to simmer for hours, throwing in a hunk of salted ham or bacon.
She never told me to start the corn low.
Not to bring it up fast like the beans, but leave low to hold the sweetness that no sugar can bring.
She showed me those things.
I learned a great deal from what she showed me.
Her words were silk on paper, often stinging from the mouth.
She showed me how to love people, how to treat them, how to push them away when they hurt.
She showed me how talk to everyone, express to each that I am no better than they, knowing always inside how to fear and not to trust.
Through good and bad, she didn’t teach me through words, she showed me.
She showed me how to love, how to fear, how understand, and how not to.
She showed me how to milk the corn.