The Potato in Me

By on Jan 6, 2019 in Poetry

Potato on notebook with hand writing in pencil

What if it’s not a poet in me,
but a potato that lies mute, still
as a stone, stiff with all that starch, sweet
beyond all blessed belief? Yet doomed
for some inevitable and — yes! —
edible destiny.

And would all my words abandon me?
All my days above ground have not
prepared me for this single moment
of roundness being next to soundness,
of brownness being wholly skin deep
and just as easily bruised.

A fist, a hand in glove, a hardened
heart. Half-baked, I see more than I am
believing; I have the lumps to prove
it. So what about grief? Don’t ask me.
I only said what if. Much better
to ask a turnip instead.


Deborah H. Doolittle has lived in lots of different places but now calls North Carolina home. She has two Master's degrees and teaches at Coastal Carolina Community College. She is the author of two award-winning chapbooks and a book-length collection of poetry, Floribunda. Some of her poems have appeared in Kakalak, The Kerf, Natural Bridge, Pinyon Poetry, Poem, Poetalk, and Shemom, one of which has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.