The Cornfield

By Kassie Lamro

Natalie and I had the same birthday month, 
which, in fifth grade, meant we were best friends. 

The cornfield stood

between my street and hers, 
an armrest at a movie theater, dividing and connecting.  

We lay on our stomachs in my backyard, 
grass tickling our bare legs as corn stalks rustled in the wind. 

Come on, Natalie said, and when no one was looking, 
we climbed the chain-linked fence.  

For the next two years, we collected 
rocks, screws, blue glass from the abandoned barn.  

We labeled our treasures with the date and our names 
and locked everything in a metal box. 

Natalie and I didn’t have the same lunch period, 
which, in seventh grade, might have meant we weren’t best friends.

Didn’t bother me that she sat with Amanda at lunch 
because Natalie and I had 

the cornfield. 

One day on the school bus,
we pressed our fingers to the dust-smeared window 

and gasped at the “Coming soon, Walmart!” sign 
standing in the field like a scarecrow. 

Natalie got off at my stop, ran across the backyard 
and when no one was looking, 

jumped the chain-linked fence.  
She stomped to the middle 

of the cornfield

to a humming powerline,
wrote our names on gum wrappers, 

and stuck them to the base of the powerline 
with chewing gum

as if labeling the field would stop bulldozers 
from tearing our friendship apart. 

When she isn’t teaching or tutoring English as a Second Language, Kassie can be found behind her drum set, behind a good book, or behind her laptop writing more poetry or Middle Grade novels. 
Kassie Lamro has a Bachelor’s in English teaching, a Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MTESOL), and a creative writing certificate. She blogs at https://kassielamro.weebly.com and can be found on Twitter (@kassielamro) and Instagram (@kassielamroreads).  


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