Potatoes never tasted so good
as those we roasted in a #2 can,
punctured with random holes,
hung like a sling on a rusty wire.
Two live coals, pilfered from the oven
snugly shared the can with a potato,
raw, fetched from home or swiped
from a grocer’s sidewalk bin.
We swung this little furnace, a sparking,
homemade bellows, fired the embers,
adding a musical whirr, light and sound
to ease the winter’s chill.
Timed to a T, the blackened spud
burst open to show the steaming
white delight. Some young gourmets
sprayed on a pinch of salt.
We didn’t care that lips and hands
were stained with soot, we felt
no winter cold on Ghetto streets.
We shared the warmth of camping out.
—from Rattle #10, Winter 1998
Daniel Green: “The few days I don’t write become a desert for me. Themes and words scream past my thoughts. I’m compelled to seize them as seeds, fix them on a yellow pad, and hope they’ll come alive.”