New Potatoes

(a one-minute read)

On the last nice day of October, before the winter rains come in earnest, I dig potatoes. Dozens of pounds of potatoes. The soil so carefully prepared yields to the fingertips. The spading fork used at the bottom of each hill is mostly for show, the soil is that good. Cleaned, but not washed, the spuds are packed carefully in their boxes, by type, between layers of straw.

Holding a potato in my hand, it is cold. Not the cold of death; it is the hand of a mittenless child. Deeply cool, but with life inside. The warmth of life stored against bitter days. Starch for the winter, fuel for the fire.

Yukon Golds, like baby ginger. Long fingerlings full of creamy tenderness. Pontiac Reds, many large enough to make an entire meal. Russets, the staple of staples.

Some of each I hold out for their eyes, for planting.

Like me, the potato is blind to the glory of its future. Yet with guidance, like me, they may see their way into becoming next year’s crop.

What do you think?

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