Saturday, November 03, 2007

Martha Gies, "Losing the Farm"

Here's an excerpt from "Losing the Farm" by Martha Gies:

"In summer, I spent 16-hour days on the farm, running the asparagus plant, weighing and loading strawberry flats, and coming home only to sleep. In their homes, women and girls taught me to make carne asada and laughed at my clumsy tortillas; in the strawberry fields, they pestered me to put on a broad-brimmed hat, to cover up with a long-sleeved shirt; at dances, they pulled me down into their laps, where we sat in one pastel-colored satiny heap, waiting for the men and boys to make their way across the floor."

You can read the rest of this wonderful essay in the M Review, Marylhurst University's literary magazine.



At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Linera,
This resonated so deeply with me. I went to the site & read the rest of the essay & I'm so glad I did.

Having grown up on a farm in the Willamette Valley, I can feel the tragedy in this writing, and also the hope.

Thank you for sharing!

At 8:55 PM, Anonymous The Cook said...

Many strands in this poignant read that I relate to. Oregon asparagus. Oregon strawberries. Women across cultures in the kitchen together.

And too, that somehow out here in the American West we inevitably come back to corn. Tortillas. Or in my case when I lived with the Hopi, piki bread and tiny dumplings made from blue corn. Finely ground blue meal that when water stains it, turns as inky and purple as a thunderhead that sends ladies hurrying, the long fringes of their shawls shushing.

Jean Brown Johnson


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