"Maize" is the Indian (species: Native American) word
for any corn other than the shit on which you have to spray

Roundup™ (the chemical, not the cowboy term for gathering cattle
or diasporasic Native Americans) to make it germinate

with the broken promise (do not see: "Osceola") of high yield
at less cost (I told you, do NOT see "Osceola")

with more nutrition. Research shows (see "laboratory rats," "maze,"
"trail of rodent tears"; synonyms include: "chimpanzee tears,"

"rabbit tears") that animals fed a complete diet of such varieties
of chemically conceived corn (see: "Monsanto"; verb: "Monsanto")

have been known to starve to death except for the chimpanzees/rabbits/
rats/and other rodents in other laboratory rooms (see: "Monsanto" under:

"God knows what goes on in their other rooms" who succumb
before their chance to starve or to tell us

of sun-painted ponies on once pristine prairies,
of drinkable rivers, of rituals as lost as reflective lakes

(see: "with fish") (see: "without extra fins/eyes"),
of fertile lands, unfilmed canopies (see: Tarzan of the Apes)

of frond and fern, of green (see: "not with envy") and still more

green fields and fields of pre-Columbus corn called "maize"

of our chances
(see: ).

About the Poet

Richard Downing has won the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Poetry Prize, Writecorner Press's 2010 Editors Award, New Delta Review's Matt Clark Prize, and New Woman Magazine's Grand Prize for Fiction. He has poems in numerous journals and anthologies and a YellowJacket Press chapbook, Four Steps Off the Path. He is also co-founder of local peace and environmental groups.