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Did I Ask for This?
Gillian Nevers


To stand over the sink scrubbing
scab from lopsided potatoes;
paring thick hide off radishes picked too late;
snapping bean tips; rinsing,
chopping, bagging beet greens.
I’ve enough zucchini here to bake
one hundred loaves of bread. I slice
crookneck squash for compost, wish
for chickens to feed the seedy yellow pulp to.
"Waste not, want not" my mother said.
So, I spray water into the sink.
A golden squash blossom sticks
from the snarls of my hair.
Tomato sauce bubbles on the stove.
Smell of basil fills the kitchen, and I watch
mud eddy slowly, then disappear
down the drain. Next August
I will travel.

This poem first appeared in the 2009 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poet's Calendar.
Used with the author's permission.

Gillian Nevers lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and irascible dog, Rocco. She began writing poetry in 2001, after she retired from almost twenty years of working with victims of crime. Poet friends often ask her why she doesn't write poems about the victims she worked with. She doesn't, because their stories are not hers to tell.




Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
I missed this when it was posted, but I love it! I can identify with it - and especially like the ending.
Posted 05/05/2014 08:58 PM
Dear Gillian, I hope you were able to put words into action! I feel I may have learnt more from your potato than a potential aeroplane so can happily wait till next year for the itinerary, Smiles, Katrina
Posted 08/25/2010 09:22 AM

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