I soak the beans. In the face of grief
separate stems from the garden chard.
Admire purple veins in the silvery collard.
I wash away the particulate dirt.
Mineral earth glitters in the basin.
There are horrors to take in today,
but before I do I will peel sweet potatoes.
I am making a meal for the journey.
We will hold ourselves up in this coming day.
Each potato, still a miracle of the earth.
I fondle their silence, their musk hardness.
They steady my hands.
Again and again I hear my heavy knife
heaving them open against the wood board.
Tess Taylor’s chapbook, The Misremembered World, was selected by Eavan Boland for the Poetry Society of America’s inaugural chapbook fellowship. The San Francisco Chronicle called her first book, The Forage House, “stunning” and it was a finalist for the Believer Poetry Award. Her second book is Work & Days, which Stephen Burt called “our moment’s Georgic.” Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Review, Harvard Review, The Times Literary Supplement, and other places. Taylor chairs the poetry committee of the National Book Critics Circle, is currently the on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered, and was most recently visiting professor of English and creative writing at Whittier College. Taylor has received awards and fellowships from MacDowell, Headlands Center for the Arts, and The International Center for Jefferson Studies. Taylor recently was awarded a Fulbright US Scholar Award to study and lecture at Queen’s University Belfast, in Northern Ireland, for six months in 2017.
featured image via Tree Hugger.