Spring and Good Friday and Potatoes

Spring has a bit of loss too

saying good bye to the hidden things of winter

and the way I remembered to bring a coat.

There’s the rending of Good Friday

and the memory of great betrayals.

 

My friend told me this is the day to plant potatoes

as though beneath the crosses scattered on any hillside

we could bury into dark earth

a secret that we shall be fed.

 

I went to Ireland once and a man told me

during the great potato famine

the people gathered still to build churches

as though they were planting a desperate hope

or perhaps a belief to hold them as death approached.

Or perhaps a great faith.

 

Yes there is a bit of loss in Spring

to understand the bitter, and the sweet

fragile strands of light warming the trees

whose roots notice the shoots

near their wandering fingers

where potatoes are fattening.

 

Mary L. Fraser

 

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