“The field was the length
of this whole building, as far
across as the street is wide.
We’d fill it with potatoes.
I came from a big family
and we ate most of ’em –
they keep for a long time
in a cellar.”
He mostly turns toward me,
half-looking over his shoulder.
“We had a big triangle made of wood,
that had three points. We’d pull it
behind us with a rope. That was the rows.
And I’d go with a broom handle or a hoe
and poke holes into the ground just like this.”
He gestures two or three times.
“And my dad would come along with the potato,
or the eye of the potato,
and he’d stick it in the ground
and we’d cover it up.
They grow out in vines and
the potatoes grow underground, maybe
six of ’em on a plant. They had flowers
like anything else – white ones.”
He walks around to the other side of the big table.
“That was Pennsylvania. My father’s brother
owned a farm and let us use part of the land.”
He doesn’t look me in the eye, maybe shy.
“I remember in August the new potatoes – oh, God.
We would eat ’em like apples, they were so good.”