ODE TO THE IRISH POTATO by Wesley Sims

October 6, 2016

I like your tan and freckled skin,
your knobs, dimples, mysterious valleys.
Your eggish shape, pudginess don’t repel me.
I know you wouldn’t fracture like Humpty Dumpty
if you fell. No golden yolk to spill,
only delectable white flesh inside.
No matter where I stand,
your eyes are always watching me.
Your earthy aroma reminds me of fresh
turned soil, soft and loamy to my fingers.

Too loving, you turn soft in the hands
of all who embrace you,
but it’s dicey to pursue you with passion,
for gravity holds it against me.

I feel my sentiments are sliced in two.
To keep or not to keep—
I dare not save you warm and moist,
lest you want to reproduce.
To eat or not to eat—my taste
buds delight in you,
but I my appetite boils out of control.

They call you Irish, and I wonder
if it’s the roots from which you grew,
or your intriguing eyes, or the questions you evoke:
(Is it true an Irishman answers a question with a question?).
Why so many eyes and dimples dear?
Why knobs, bumps, and little valleys to whet my curiosity?

How do I love thee? Shall I count some ways?
I love thee jacket on or off.
I love thee steamed and baked.
I love thee whole or diced.
I love thee fried and slightly brown.
And oh how I love thee creamed with butter.
I love thee to the breadth my waist can stretch.
And though they be cut short,
I shall love thee all the days of my life.

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Wesley Sims has published one chapbook of poetry, When Night Comes, Finishing Line Press, Georgetown, Kentucky, 2013.  His work has appeared in Connecticut Review, G.W. Review, Wisconsin Review, The South Carolina Review and others. His other hobbies include reading, writing, camping, and photography. He lives in Oak Ridge, Tennessee with his wife.

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