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In cold Canada
Towards the late spring
After the frost has gone
This tuber
Starts with an eye
Just a wee sprout
Planted in a hole
Mounded into a hill

Green plant
Bursts through the ground
Grows upright
Through the summer
With lush wrinkly leaves
Branching outward while being
Monitored for potato bugs and their ilk

More growing action
Takes place below the ground
Small new potatoes are dug up as testers—
Teasers, if you will–
Buttered and served with snippets of green chives

They are not all the same
These nutrient rich gems
These potassium pommes de terre
Coloured creamy inside
Or yellow Yukon gold
Sometimes they are purple

Not like potatoes of old
Dug by my Great-Grandfather for his family
Til the bad years came
With years of rotting and stench and starvation
Hungrily searching for sustenance in Fermanagh
Then sailing on the Moravian to Canada.

So many decades later,
Each autumn, these apples of the earth are
Ready to harvest and
Cook at our will
Surplus stored in burlap sacks
To sleep for the winter, until….



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