From Where Whole Foods Sources Your Organic Soy Products by Maddie Woda

Illustration by Cameron Lee and Lilian Ha

Illustration by Cameron Lee and Lilian Ha

My parents, Ohio River Valley natives, bought three
acres of wooded land surrounded by soybean fields
and carved a house out of the branches, a giant brick
woman sprawling, Marilyn Monroe style, across the
clearing my father made with a hand mower and a handful
of jumping beans. He whittled a room big enough to hold
my mother’s diamonds and her box of free weights
and three pod sized bedrooms for three pea sized daughters;
we curled under quilts when he kicked us into building
treehouses out of leftover pizza boxes and the cobwebs from
corners.

It took my mother twenty-five minutes to rush me to
urgent care when she spotted a lump the size of a walnut
behind my ear—just a swollen lymph node, promised
the doctor, a fish eye
gazing out of a bed of blonde arugula.

In the heart shaped heart of the Heartland, breadbasket
where we ate nothing but short ribs and bad sushi, our
first and last dog got hit by a Wonder Bread distribution
truck on the dusty country road threading our property
like a fallen hem. The dog’s face and hind legs looked
the same as always, panting and kicking under frizzling
electrical lines, but the tomato soup tureen of his chest
bled Johnny Cash too quickly to save into the Ohio soybean fields.