by Erin Elizabeth Kelly-Moen
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
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I was peeling potatoes, the other day,
with a metal peeler, like I did in my youth,
cupping the potato with fingers curled in,
so as not to slice off any skin. I felt
the potato’s moisture, it’s life, being
flung at my being, bespattering me.
Maybe it was because it is so dry, here,
in the desert mountains, the humidity
was only six percent, that day. The Monsoon
still a week or several away.
I had noticed, last week, on a trip
to Safford, how dry and brown my land was,
brown as a potato, I now reflect,
waiting for life’s moisture, cycling its axis position,
between-stages, between living, on this Earth.
When I was a kid growing up in Wisconsin,
one of six, my divorced mother bought potatoes
in 50lb. bags from the Potato Man’s truck. He’d
place them in the darkness of the room
in-between the garage and my two brothers
My mother worked, and would leave notes
on what to make for supper -- we were a
meat and potato family. One of us
had to go down with a plastic bin
to bring up potatoes for the meal. It
was usually me, the middle child. I hated it.
Down the stairs, through my brothers bedroom
to the dimly lit inner-outer room. The bag
leaned near the door, gravid with potato questions.
The dim bulb never lit the interior of the bag,
you could never see into its depths. You had to
have faith, had to have courage, to reach your hand
into that potato bag.
So, I would, I did, I had to, reach in, time
after time, with abhorrent responsibility.
More often than not, my fingers jammed
into a rotten potato, especially when
the bag’s weight was lowered. The
first trips to the innocuous potato bag
were usually safe, the later trips, perilous.
I smiled, wryly, as I relived those
potato memories. I thought of the rot
that had touched my skin in the past,
as I felt the spit of moist starch the potato
I was peeling was sending up into my face,
my chest, my arms. Speckling me with debris.
And, I thought of French fry grease,
and acid rain, and of dust and dry heat.
I thought of specious minds, and
hateful actions of others, and advertisements,
and words worth becoming mute
in the mouths of governments, and religions.
I saw how grimed over my mind was,
and how dulled my soul felt, how my face
seemed starched into place. And,
I hated it. Because, I also saw a 50lb. bag
of potatoes, in a dim inner room,
and knew I would have to reach into
that bag, fishing and flinching through
the rotten potatoes, to rescue myself
from a man-made cage.
Erin Elizabeth Kelly-Moen
© Copyright 6/21/05
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|Reviewed by Susan Barton (Reader)
|Excellent! I love the way you tied in childhood fears with the present.|
|Reviewed by Edward Lupinacci
I really enjoyed this great comentary in an entertaining write
I am so glad I buy boxed potatoes Yuch!!!!
they are as bad as reaching into the bag "the great unknown"
I would call this a Lays Poem
you can't just have one
|Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
Potato musings left me in awe--masterfully penned, thought provoking, incredibly imaged...breathtaking! I felt/smelt/saw potatoes. BRAVA, poet and friend!
(((HUGS))) and love, Karla. :)
Hope you get needed rain--if you don't need the excess, send it to Texas--we're 10 inches below normal, no end to heat in sight
|Reviewed by Gwen Dickerson
|Oh wow, Erin! How uniquely creative you are! Through peelings and memories you've transported us your experiences to an awareness of now! Wonderful write with a wonderful title that immediately caught my eye!|
|Reviewed by Kate Clifford
|The depth of this write is incredible! To rescue ourselves is not easy is it? But it is the only way. Great write!|