Potato Planting

by Erica M. Breen

I wade barefoot through
next winter’s stews,
foot, spud, foot, spud
soil warm under my soles,
measuring out spoonfuls, ladlefuls, 
bowlfuls, potfulls, weekfulls of potatoes.

The sandy broth thickens 
in the warmth of sun and earth.
As I cover the trench, my hoe scritching on rocks,
I can feel them start to grow. They nestle down, poking
sprouts toward the sun, hairy roots out to anchor them firmly.
They and the Earth long to feed me.

Mosquitoes, thrushes, caterpillars, primrose—
all are witness to this yearning.
Amidst their preparations,
They know the cold to come.

Longest day to shortest, we are given
ample chance to feed ourselves.
The garden lies in wait, and our
appetites like smoke
flavor the stew.

photo credit: jeshoots Unsplash