Love letter to the corn dog at River and Woods


A bite into you
is a bite into late backyard nights
where summer breezes bring you
the scents of swaying cornfields
and the laughter of friends
and the warm glow from the windows of your home.
Oh corn dog,
you sing me an American dream
that I almost forgot,
that I almost stopped daring
to remember.
My childhood corn dog experiences were as depressing as my first site
of you tonight, lolling bare beside the catchup and mustard.
– oh, the mustard.
But one timid bite
into your pheasant bratwurst belly
and your snug skin of cornmeal
and my America was changed for me.

Even my failing relationship with mustard is restored
– the round golden tummies of their seeds burst through me in joy,
like sunshine that vanquishes the shadows
of an America in which corn dogs
and mustard
and me
were only begrudging acquaintances.

Now we are dancing together under the blue moon,
our feet kicking up the scents of the hearty soil,
to the tunes that trickle through the lazy air…
corn dog, mustard, and me.

Gaia Surya is a poet, counselor and community leader who celebrates Body and Earth.