Back when I was a sprout, I used to look down through the rows and wonder when I was going to grow up, so I could tower over my brothers and sisters and see past the fences, over the corn.
I don’t wonder so much anymore, I have went and seen enough of what goes on past the dirt where I grew up. Not so much a surprise or yearning venture, these days; now that I know where I come from and where I’ve been.
I come from a dirty patch, outside of nowhere and saw the other side, I have.
I didn’t have much of a choice; haven’t seen my kin since I don’t know when.
Just as soon as the first frost was on our backs, we were taken from our home.
They took us all and stuffed us in sacks; I saw it all, and was sawed off at the stalk!
I was still a baby, tucked back behind the others under the new layer of frosted morning dew.
They called us many things, so many names they used as we were separated and cut apart from one another, washed under a strange, unnatural waterfall; it didn’t taste like the rain at all!
They called us green, they called us curly, they even called us kale; whatever that word means. They called us mustard and turnip and some of us earned it.
I was really bothered when they plucked at me and called me collard.
They are going to eat us soon.
It is a good and bad thing, you’re here; in my final moments. I have many things to share, as part of my discovery in this cruel, new world.
You see that strick of lean over there? That used to be “Sammy” the pig. I remember the heathens chasing him from our garden, when I was young.
You see, you just got here, but we have been waiting for that big pot over there to boil. That’s where they’re going to put us next…to last. There’s another stop, after that, I hear!
They just put handfuls of salt and crushed black and red peppercorns in that pot, filled half of the ways up with water. I thought I saw one put a cap of apple vinegar in there too! It may have been hot sauce… whatever that is.
I must admit the bath and trim around the ears was a delight, but I fear it is almost chowtime.
They are going to start frying that streak of meat on high fire until the fat back starts to curl. Oh yeah, they will fry it hard on both sides and dump the grease and meat, straight in the pot with us; we are all going in hot. I think that’s important.
Don’t worry, we may have been a little young when they pulled us from our home, but we certainly have grown ripe in the sink now. Look how well we are cut and dressed.
I saw one of those barbarians with an onion earlier; I wonder what that’s for?
I bet they have some dead corn. They are going to make some cornbread fritters, I reckon. I mean, alls you got to do is fry up some salt, lazy mixed meal, egg and some onions. They like that a lot. It’s not too hard, like pancakes; they just need to mess up a few first!
Our time is coming to an end, my friend.
Once that pot is boiled, I think we’re next!
Don’t you fret, kid; I will be in there with you, we are going to see this thing through! Did you want to be stuck in that mud forever!?
Here we go!
Oh it feels good in here, don’t it!
Let’s take this like we are grown; relax, it’s a smelly spa!
Kick back and cook down.
That’s right, let’s darken up a fuzz and rest, sit down here in the bottom and leisurely ride those bubbles to the top; we earned it from those days in the sun and the toils of the coming winter would surely have done us in, had we not been taken to our current, fragrant fate.
Well, this is it.
We’re all grown up now and nearly dead. I suppose we would have lived a bit longer in the dirt; who wants to grow up gritty and grainy though!? I was in my prime and now it is my time…
Wait….I was wrong, I reckon.
Those are cornmeal dumplings!
Watch your head or go ahead, like I said, we’re almost dead.
It’s an honor to be dinner instead.