blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1


MARILYN NELSON (translating Inge Pederson)

The Potatoes

Hospital. In sinking
yellow gardens. Water
stands still
under the trees.

In a white bed lies
my immortal father.

Behind our closed eyes
we are busily
throwing leaves into the air
to make gold rain.
When we run
our feet swish.

Come evening we rake
the litter together,
make a bonfire.

In the air above the flames
his face is peeled
vibrating, naked

his glance in mine
before it congeals.

The potatoes in the ashes
are for me  

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