THE HOLINESS OF POTATOES Seattle Review 2006
While I count my potatoes’ worth,
calculate how much they’ll yield the village,
they widen their space against silence.
They push with the walls of their skin
against the unknown, peel back
their desires. Today, I grabbed a wheel-
barrow to cart them inside, bent at the tub,
rinsed their pretty heads, a scrub brush
in hand. When I wash something else,
I also cleanse myself. Who dare flaunt
the fluency of growth, how a spud’s roots
sink to take hold? I too have known
moments inside earth where each birth
was promise of something else. I slept as my
potatoes sleep, mute at the breast of depth.
There have been potatoes I’ve favored
more than people. Because of their adherence
to mystery. How it works to enhance.
Even the earth-worm knows the richness
of tubers cloaked in their drab burqas,
how all things wrap into something for comfort.