New Potatoes and Peas
Her hands caked with dark mud
from digging tiny potatoes
and placing them in a bucket.
“Hey little one!”
“You’re suppose to be pick’n
not eat’n those peas.” Mom would tease.
They were so sweet like that
just off the vine. Pod and all
would find a way to my mouth
before falling into the apron. They tasted like spring.
Totally different than they would
once they were thrown in the pot.
I would sneak a few more knowing
she knew I would.
Carrying potatoes and peas to the kitchen
her eyes lit-up at the thought of dinner.
I never understood why we only ate the pea
or the need for the milky broth
bathing both potato and pea.
It brought her delight and most
seemed to agree. But for me
the excitement came as the knife revealed
the brilliant white flesh under the potato’s dark red skin.
I would steal a few quarters as they came away
from the blade. They tasted like the soil — smells
minerals and history.
You know how history smells, like dust
blown from your grandfather’s favorite book
that was on the shelf too long. And spring,
it smells like spring and new potatoes and peas.