Corn and Tomatoes

I come from a land
where turkey hill is a place –
not a brand.
where corn grows tall
and healthy
and children try to do the same
but we can’t
because society tells us that we’re bad.

“Why can’t we be corn?”
I asked my dad, tears in my eyes.
My young brain feeling the protection of husks
as my kernels brighten their yellow and white shine.
and with my husk protector
none of my peers can judge me.

But Instead of corn,
I live in a society of tomatoes.
Am I a vegetable or a fruit?
Do I have to be either?
When people look at me,
do they see my wrinkles and bruises,
then throw me away?
my vine attaches me to my siblings,
who are stronger and juicier.

I have no protection.
I am not in the land of Turkey Hill –
where corn lives in fields without worry.
I am not a tomato either.
I am a child,
and like a tomato
if I am rotten or bruised,
I am thrown to the side.
I am an adult
and like a tomato
if I am rotten or bruised,
I am thrown to the side.

I am a minority,
I am a target,
I am an individual,
I am alone.
I am not corn.
I am not tomatoes.

And it may be okay for other people
to throw me to the side
in today’s society.
But I will not choose to throw anyone
to the side.

In spite of my childish idea,
of corn’s similarities.
I yearn for difference.
To teach me.
I like that tomatoes are different.
I guess instead of corn or tomatoes,
I’d like to be human.
And have humanistic ideals.
I’d like to have the strength of corn,
and the variation of tomatoes,
for a society of difference.
And I’d like to live,
in a world where even the most wrinkled tomato-humans
are loved.
because they are not tomato-humans.
they are humans.

-cdk

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