“Accidental Potatoes” by Derek Economy

Derek Economy


The history of intentions is overgrown
with rogue vines and unwanted blossoms.
Our potatoes, you might call them weeds,
sprouted from compost amid the peppers,
unplanned if not unplanted.
We simply lacked purpose, our vision
clouded by our own designs.
Yet here was a plan, not ours,

that we performed like true disciples.
And they in turn did as potatoes
have come to do in the fertile underground,
springing shoots so green and pert
we hadn’t the heart to yank them out.
In the end we ate them, praised their flavor,
and boasted of our fine crop.

People speak of accidental children,
but what does that mean? Unwitting
as birds that feed on fruit and scatter seeds
in potluck orchards, we’re all providers
to future generations. I turn the ground
and wait. Grace could break
from any random source, a clue, a cure,
a ripple of laughter, growing wild
in some otherwise garden.

from Rattle #27, Summer 2007


Derek Economy: “My life is filled with doing psychotherapy, fathering, gardening, and poetry. They’re similar tasks in many ways: tending the newly growing, trusting the fertile ground, believing in the wisdom pattern of seeds. I write because the language is as alive and unpredictable as we are, and I want to find my own names for colors, alleys and planets that weren’t there a moment ago, for the people I didn’t know I was.”

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