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The Holiness of Potatoes

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.

Published inPoems


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