First Potato Poem: Where The Rutabaga Comes From

Published in Gastronomica, 2008


WHERE THE RUTABAGA COMES FROM

 

The potato has an indigenous
way about it
an inveigling way of behavior

One day you discover
you are unaware of its existence
then
it is too late

We are wary of the rock
wary of the so-called
wise man,
the seducing poet

Yet the unmoving potato
comes closer
ingratiates itself
until it literally
flies into your mouth

becomes your hands
your arms turn into
green leaves
your hair falls out

your legs grow together
in a single yellow mass
and you become a potato

or surprisingly
a rutabaga
or other root vegetable

One cannot blame the potato
It has no choice
in the matter
There is no free will
involved