Retrospective

More

audioear pictureHear the author read this poem (in RealAudio)

What carried us from year to year was yield:
potatoes in, potatoes out, like rowing.
Fist-sized, firm, rich-tasting and abundant—
of such abundance we could eat them all
winter long and have some left for seed.
It seemed holy even then, to harvest
red and russet, shake the moist earth
from the tuber, feel its heft and lob
it on the pile soon to be transported
to the fruit room (dirt floor and damp cement,
tomatoes on the vine, apples, potatoes).
An earthy flourish of the immanent.

Spring, and quartering the rest to plant,
one eye, at least, per chunk. Father crouched
over the hoe. When did I learn to see
paternal love in seed potatoes planted
with a grunt? Or catechism in the rhythm
beat out as he sowed, tamping down the dirt?

Geri Doran's first collection of poems, Resin, received the 2004 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Doran lives in northern California.
Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In